When the end is just the beginning.
You’ve just gotten to that magical place when you wrap up your first draft. You wrote the two most beautiful words…The End.
Ahh, bask in that blissful, satisfying feeling. Enjoy it. Do something special to reward yourself because you deserve it!
Then…let your manuscript sit for a little bit…and get back in there with your red pen because you’re not done yet.
What? But I finished it, you might say. Sorry, but no, Grasshopper, you’ve finished the first draft and now you must start on edits.
Before you start to cry, and pull out your few remaining hairs after the harrowing writing traumas you’ve endured to get to the finish line let me reassure you…your story will be better in the long run.
Scoff at me; throw a few stones if you must… (I’m in cyberspace and I won’t feel the—Hey, that wasn’t encouragement to actually do it, come on!)
My writing tip is to share a prettier way to think about editing
(I just cringed, kind of like Fonzie from Happy Days when he had to say ‘I’m sorry’. Wait, you don’t know the Fonz’? Here’s a link, now quit making me feel old: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=162023&page=2)
Compare your story to building a house.
· Start with a piece of ground and a blueprint. The first stirrings of your muse and the birth of your story.
· Build your house. The evil synopsis, or if you’re a panster like me…it could be your rough draft.
Your new house is everything you’ve ever dreamed of, but it feels a little… empty.
· Carpets or nice wood flooring give your rooms a little character. Maybe a touch of colorful paint and that empty room is a bit brighter. This is the start of your editing as you tighten up by getting rid of repetitive words, making your sentences snap, and tossing out the garbage. You know, those words you love to use and don’t even realize it until you’re rereading your manuscript. (Fine, I’ll go first. My name is Maureen and a few of my favorite garbage words are: something, some and in fact. Do you wanna share yours? Don’t be shy, I don’t bite…remember, cyberspace.)
The rooms are beautiful, but where are you going to sit?
· Add furnishings. Contemporary? Country? Traditional? Make it a place that says a little about your personality. Define your unique character traits that make your characters stand out and your readers connect with them.
Almost done, just needs a woman’s touch.
· A throw pillow here, a fancy light fixture there or maybe a special cabinet knob. Expanding the emotions in a scene or deepen the POV subtly, to immerse your reader into the scene.
P.S. I’m not going to say it loudly…but this might take two, or even three passes through your house….err manuscript. Hey don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just sayin’.
There! I bet you found some things you didn’t even realize you were missing, but in the end you love your story even more. Now get out there with your hammer and nails… I mean red pen….and get ready to rebuild your story!
That Magic Moment
Can love cross the boundaries mortals have erected to reject all that cannot be explained? As the last witch in the Turner line, Celeste doesn't know if she’s finally found true love or if her grandma cast a love spell to continue the Turner line.
Dane Johns is a man not easily forgotten, but that’s exactly what Celeste plans to do. Because he has one big flaw. He’s a mortal.Dane Johns doesn't know it but he’s under a spell, and Celeste Turner is the cure. Mysteriously healing his injury while captivating his heart, Dane is enchanted. Although once he discovers Celeste’s secret he must decide if he’s charmed enough to not only accept love into his life, but the world of magic.
Hope doesn't know if the man she can touch is a dream come true, or a nightmare just beginning.
Destiny Calling coming December 2014 from The Wild Rose Press.