Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Edits and Final Galleys
Sometimes I look at the manuscript and all I see is red. What the heck, it couldn't be that bad, could it? Is the editor picking on me?
One of the most important things to remember when doing edits is to keep an open mind. I like to paraphrase rather than use thoughts. That means I use the word she a lot. The reason I dislike thoughts, well two reasons, actually - 1. editors like to put thoughts into Italics. - I dislike italics - no, I hate italics. Nothing takes me out of a story worse than italics. They distract me and that's not something you want to do with a reader. Most of the books I've read about writing say- don't use them. (and I've read a lot of books on writing, Donald Maass for one). The other reason I don't like them is thoughts also distract me. So instead of writing, I hated when he does that, I write She hated when he did that. Eliminates the need for italics and I. To me it reads much better. However, my editor doesn't like all the shes. Okay I know I use a lot of them and truthfully, I don't see a problem with it. The sentences make sense. Readers know they're thoughts. They don't need italics to tell them. I try hard to avoid thoughts that need italics, but sometimes you just have to use them.
Okay, back to editing. As the author, you have the final say on your work. But don't be stubborn. Your editor is there to help you make your work the best it can be. I've seldom had to disagree with my editor. Most of the time I look at what she wants to delete or change and I agree. Sometimes, it's back story. Sometimes it's just unneeded information.
Another reason I like edits, it gives me a chance to change things that don't sound right to me or maybe add something that will add to the story - No, I'm not talking about pages or chapters. I'm talking about a sentence or two that might add tension or help clarify what you're talking about.
Once you're done with edits, you send them back to the editor. They might go back and forth several times before you both agree and are satisfied with the final manuscript. Ha, that's not the final manuscript at all. Now comes line edits. A different editor goes through what you and your content editor just agreed is the best manuscript. The line editor will go through line by line and suggest changes that are sometimes repetitive sentences etc. They also make sure all the commas, periods, and spelling is correct. If a sentence doesn't make sense to them, they'll suggest you change it. Again, it's your work, but keep an open mind. Think of the line editor as one of your readers. If she/he thinks it doesn't sound right, so will your reader. I seldom disagree with my line editor. Unless I have a character that speaks in a certain way,I'll usually take the suggestion.
Now comes the final galley. This is it. This is what your book is going to look like. This is your responsibility to make sure that every i is dotted and every t is crossed - so to speak. Look for spelling, commas, periods and yes, sometimes wrong words here or there. This is the last opportunity to make your book the best it's going to be. Final galleys aren't for changing sentences or paragraphs or adding to the story. Go through the final galley carefully. Even editors, no matter how good they are, miss things. A misspelled word, missing comma, etc. No one is perfect. It's the last polish before your editor sends the book off for publishing.
Think of edits as a way to improve your manuscript, not to destroy it. Editors want to work with you, not against you.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Rules: Play my Chronicles of Caleath Word Search and then see what the free letters spell out. Some have SORRY, but most have a surprise doorprize. To check out the list of prizes please visit my website. ROSALIESKINNER.COM
Sunday, August 21, 2011
So, I thought it would be a good opportunity to briefly introduce my next tale while also pondering my move to Switzerland. I'm currently two weeks away from classes and having lots of fun navigating my way around Geneva and trying to learn French on the go. It's difficult, to say the least, and makes asking for directions, locating supermarkets and getting the internet at home all the harder, lol. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who have tried to be helpful. Even if they don't speak English, the French (or Swiss French) have often tried to assist this lost author when its been pretty obvious that I need help with something or other. Who says the French are cold! I suppose the least I can do to return the favour is try harder to pick up their language (which is only fair), but I have a feeling that, no matter how fluent I may become, my stories will always be in English.
And now on to my new tale :) It'll be released in December and is called In the Flesh. This story was inspired by an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark in which a young painter receives an offer by a mysterious gallery owner to complete an abandoned work (above image). In my tale, the paintings are very much completed, very much alive. And art truly imitates life, in the darkest way.
In the Flesh:
It is the flesh. The warmth of eternal lust...
In the backstreets of his drab city, Alex finds the perfect gift for a bitter girlfriend, who misses her rural home. Invited into a world of staring portraits, he walks away with the cool gaze of a former rancher, like him forced to move to modernity.
At first, the gift is welcome. Those blue eyes stare out from a world of rural comfort, what Rachel misses and loves. But there is more behind the gaze, so much more, and slowly it spreads, infects their lives, wanting to break free of its painted mileu and into the real world.
The art gallery. So many frozen faces, all staring...
Sheila is the mistress of these paintings. Each portrait captures the youth of long gone subjects, but for what purpose? Alex returns to her to relinquish his gift’s burden upon his home, his Rachel. And the mistress waits within these walls of paralysed eyes, soft whispers and gentle murmurs that defy the prison of gilded picture frames. Trapped youth yearns for freedom. But Sheila’s lust knows no bounds.
As Alex and Rachel are pulled into her game, they learn the true secret behind her brush. The secret of the flesh.
The gifts of lust do not come cheap. There is a price, for mistress and subject alike...
Saturday, August 20, 2011
As well as belonging to three online critique groups, where I can post a chapter of my historical novels in progress and receive constructive critiques in return for critiquing other members’ chapters, I also belong to Watford Writers. Every Monday the society meets in Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire, England at Cafe Cha Cha at 7.30 p.m.
From time to time Watford Writers arranges for guest speakers and workshops. Linda Spur’s workshops are very popular and well-attended.
Linda Spur is rarely seen without a pen and notepad in hand – although in recent months, this is more likely to be an iPad. Linda is well-qualified to advise writers. She started working on local and regional newspapers before moving to the BBC World Service for a broadcasting career of over twenty years. Since then, she has worked as a freelance journalist and as a teacher of Creative Writing and computer skills. She is currently studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at Brunel University.
Writing takes up a lot of her “leisure” time, trying to finish what she hopes will be the next block-busting novel. Her work with the BBC meant she frequently travelled overseas; today, she loves exploring Britain – on foot and by car. But always with the iPad at hand for when inspiration strikes!
In addition to her regular classes, Linda runs occasional Creative Writing workshops for local writing groups. She finds these can serve several purposes: “I’m a great believer in trying different genres of writing. Even if you never intend to write a play, an evening of playwriting exercises will help with your dialogue while poetry makes you think carefully about every word you put down on paper! Moreover, experimenting with, for example, historical fiction or fantasy writing might well open up a whole new area that you had never considered writing before.
“I also find that workshops are ideal for reminders – such as remembering to use all the senses. Writers come up with some lovely images when they use the senses but, over time, authors might forget to involve them until they are reminded. Similarly, the occasional reminder to use a setting more creatively can pay dividends.
“Workshops provide a very supportive environment for writers – beginners and experienced ones alike. Trying something out in a small group first is far less daunting than on your own. Also, learning to give and receive constructive feedback is probably one of the most useful ways of improving your own writing.”
At one of Linda’s workshops, I read a non-fiction article I had written called The Scarlet Pimpernel and His muse. Linda pointed out that the article should be split into two. The first titled Baroness Orczy, and the second titled The Scarlet Pimpernel fact and fiction.
I took Linda’s advice and subsequently placed both articles with Vintage Script a small press magazine. Next year I might re-submit both articles, offering second British serial rights or first American serial rights.
After another workshop, Linda was kind enough to read the first three chapters of my novel Sunday’s Child set in the Regency period. She returned it with the comment that I had introduced too many characters too fast. I took this ‘on board’, revised the chapters and submitted the novel to MuseItUp Publishing with the happy result that it will be published in June, 2012.
Recently, Linda gave a workshop on playwriting. I do not intend to write a play so I shilly shallied about whether or not to attend. To my surprise I enjoyed the workshop during one part of which we were asked to form small groups and write snippets from proposed plays on various themes. Each person assumed the role of one character and wrote that character’s lines. Later we read our snippets to the group. One of my parts was that of a mother-in-law who doesn’t like her son-in-law. A line when she speaks to her son-in-law was: “I believe in live and let live, but not where you’re concerned.” That raised a roar of laughter. All in all, the workshop was fun. It has had the happy result of making me more adventurous about attending other workshops focussed on various forms of writing that I have not attempted.
Wherever you live, whether you are a new writer or an experienced, multi-published writer Linda and I are confident that participating in workshops will pay dividends,
All the best,
Forthcoming releases from MuseItUpPublishing
Tangled Love 27.01.2012
Sunday’s Child 06.2012
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Both of us are drawn to write stories of struggle and triumph, passion and everyday extraordinary people. When we met online we began a nearly daily interaction that has included, what she terms 'the slashing' of each other's work, as well as sharing thoughts and feelings about everything under the sun.
The waning days of July found me landing at Corfu's small airport, renting a car and making my way around the bay to the Hotel Oasis where Viviane works as front desk clerk/hostess/psychologist/stand-in parent and jack of most trades.
Corfu's economy is largely dependent on tourism, most of which occurs between May and September. During the cool rainy winter months the residents return to their quiet lives, but during high season it's seven days a week long hours spent smiling and tending to the onslaught.
This is my second visit to Corfu. This time I had the pleasure of meeting Viv's boss and family owner of the hotel. A host this rare should be mentioned. Generous and helpful, Petros made our time at his lovely little hotel a gem.
The Oasis clings to the cliff side and overlooks the crystal clear Ionian Sea. Little Mouse Island dots the warm aqua/azure water and families from all over the region enjoy its private beach, daily breakfast served on a large open air terrace and sparkling pool.
Touring about the island affords many more gorgeous vistas, none the equal of Viv's little corner of the world, but magnificent nonetheless. From Agios Gordios distinctive offshore rock spiking from the sea,
to the tiny villages that reflect Greece past,
to the nightlife action and rocking sea sport town of Kavos,
and the beautiful curve of Roda's cafe-lined beach,
the world weary traveler can find endless beauty and a way of life not unlike that of a small town anywhere.
People know each other, care about each other and, yes, sometimes gossip about each other. But isn't this a sign of human connection so many of us crave in this impersonal work-a-day society?
Don't expect to hear much English should you choose to visit, but almost everyone knows it and uses it as the lingua franka. Mythos--perhaps the best lager in the world, flows plentifully.
Pitas are unlike their cousin Gyros, but every bit as delicious and the local Kumquat Liqueur is served over ice or with a swirl of cream.
Sailboats and yachts abound.
The night time sky like a diamond spattered ebony velvet. Cicadas sing in the trees and the smell of junipers mingle with baked earth and grass.
From thirty thousand feet it looks like a dream.
Small wonder this Italian flavoured jewel is sought after for relaxation by those in the know.
Thanks for the insider tip, Viv.
Author of Reluctant Companions
Visit my website at www.christinelondon.com for the latest!
My time in the islands always lures me back. One of the true treasures of this planet, Oahu teams with abundant flora and fauna. The beauty of an island is its isolation from mainland evolution. North shore--frozen in time.
Hawaii is magic.
If you have loved the many far flung locales here on London Blog, click over to MuseItHot Publisher and fall in LOVE with...
Coming Friday August 19, 2011...
Grieving the loss of her beloved father, Chellie is convinced to take time off from her work-a day job to enjoy a secret retreat at a hidden Oahu bungalow. Property of the womanizing ex of her best friend, Chellie agrees only after being assured her privacy. Overworked, burnt out and sour on life, Scottish film star Cameron McClain nearly had to be hog tied by his manager to take a holiday at his secret escape destination on the Hawaiian North shore. Reluctant guests alone on one of the world’s most beautiful islands---except they are not alone…
A movement, a shadow disturbed her peripheral vision just enough to jolt her from her uninvited anguish. Forcing her senses to sharpen, she sniffed back the need for a tissue and tiptoed to the edge of the lanai. Wrong part of the world for Sasquatch, she thought, briefly wondering if the Hawaiians had similar legend. Too laid back…Polynesian paralysis would prohibit such disturbing musings. They were the invention of overworked, stressed people trying to escape the insistent demands of the modern world. No such burden here in the land of Mahalo and hang loose.
It occurred to her that it was not the world she’d just left behind. She was about as far away from relaxed as an over processed perm.
The rain had ceased, the liquid chorus continued from every leaf and petal as they shed the weight of the passing storm. Straining to differentiate any foreign sound from the thrum of droplets splashing along on their journey from foliage to earth, she held her normal breathing in check, mouth open as means of silencing her own autonomic noise. Scrolling the immediate horizon like a cat burglar avoiding detection, she reached for the bamboo railing to steady her.
Bounding through the slick underbrush flashed the silhouette of a man in forward trajectory, a parabola of doom the likes of which she’d not seen since her friend Jill had taken a spill off her snowboard on the slopes of Lake Tahoe’s Diamond Peak. That had cost Jill six weeks in traction and her gift for belly dancing.
“Shite.” The ensuing male explicative sounded like the fated call of a condemned man.
Undergrowth rustling, banana tree quaking, the ground cover had swallowed whoever it was that had evidently survived the fall. A part of her didn’t want to stick around to see what emerged from the forest floor, but her sense of philanthropy held in check her initial urge to turn tail and run. The banana tree shook violently a long moment later, large elliptical leaves bending, seeming to disappear into the undergrowth as though some great herbivore were consuming them.
It took Chellie another indeterminate amount of time to realize her jaw was slack and she was indeed gaping at the commotion in dread and morbid anticipation. Like a newborn colt standing for the first time, the specter of a man emerged from the plants, body slick and smeared with the russet earth, hair drenched, spaghetti-like in wild abandon, frame struggling to attain upright stature in a curious combination of strength, embarrassment and anger. Whites of his eyes glowing in the dusk, he continued his colorful diatribe.
“Bleedin’ vines…snarlin’ round the f**kin’--”
His eyes snagged on her, his expression escalating from irritation to rage. “And who the fookin’ hell are you?” He evaluated her face a second longer, realizing that her eyes were dropping to inspect him…the whole of him…filthy, wet and… “Shite,” he rasped again, yanking the banana leaves he held at his sides at lightning speed to cover his privates. The ensuing image of him was of a Michelangelo statue run through the mud, covered by a mutant fig leaf.
She clung to reason just long enough to see the humor in the image before her. She also couldn’t help but notice that the man was spectacular. In the light of the ascending moon, his skin looked like polished marble slick with sweat and dirt, but undeniably sculpted. And the effigy of his face was worth the price of admission alone. He was the most extraordinary surreal mixture of anger, self-reprimand and pure animal earthiness.
“The owner of this private estate. So take your damn banana leaves and get out.” She struggled to maintain an expression worthy of being taken seriously, feigning the sudden need to wipe at something at the corner of her mouth.
“So you’re a squatter as well as a liar.” He looked up at her in inflamed irritation. “I’ve the keys to prove you wrong.”
“What keys? There’s not a door within twenty miles.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. I’ve the true owner’s jeep parked just the other side of the stream leadin’ here.”
She leaned further over the railing in growing indignation. “And that’s supposed to convince me of your authenticity.’”
He moved forward, making his way to the stairs that ascended to the lanai. “I’ve me bleedin’ gear in the bedroom to—.” He paused half way up the steps, rotating one of the banana leaves to cover his rear. “Why the hell do I owe you any explanation? I’ve been here three days now and have no intention of sharin’ the surroundin’s with some…some…woman.” The final word he emphasized with particular disgust.
She instinctively backed away, he presenting a very large, threatening countenance that screamed menace. Reaching for a cylindrical shape on the lanai table, she kept her eyes on him. Grasping it by Braille, she raised it over her head like a nightstick.
His expression melted from angst to humor in a flash. “What ya goin’ ta do, spray me to death, woman?” He snorted, tension draining from his body like water through a sieve.
She shot a glance to the object in her hand. Bug spray? Shit! Stay cool. Raising it higher over her head, she shrieked, “Back off, buddy.”
His abdomen contracted in mirth. “Unless you’ve been trained in the modern martial art of fumigation, I think I’m safe.”
“Fine, smart ass, but you’re gonna have to…” She slid her eyes to his groin and back in one lightning glance. “…Drop your leaves to get it away from me.”
He folded over in a spasm of laughter. She moved toward him. In a blink, he recovered full stature. She froze.
“It appears we’re at a stand off.” He pulled the leaves tighter against his body. “Let’s compromise. You put the insect repellant back in its place and I shall relieve you of the substantial burden of havin’ a naked man on the doorstep.”
She lowered the can. “Now you’re talking. Five minutes to get your stuff and hit the road. "
Reluctant Companions By Christine London
MuseItHot Publishing- http://tinyurl.com/3nns7px
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
- You are now forcing this editor to read the entire thing (if you’re so lucky and don’t get a rejection slip right off) and judge for himself what age group you intended it for. Mind you, this is a neat trick to get them to read the entire thing but is this the reaction you want to get from them? Annoyance? I don’t think so.
- By being so ‘vague’ in your target age you are giving them the impression you haven’t done your homework…that you’re hoping they might be able to ‘fit it in somewhere’…that your ‘for all ages’ will go undetected and he’ll love it after the article/story is read.