A Process Post

Most editors follow a similar process. Reading through slush piles, reading the manuscript, marking up the manuscript and then waiting for the author to respond.

My process is much different.

I have the slush pile that are my dad’s manuscripts. Some of the manuscripts are submission-ready and just need some fine tune editing while some manuscripts are nothing more than a few notes scribbled down on a scrap piece of paper.

Before I can even begin to edit the manuscript, I have to convert it into a format that I can edit it with. My father used numerous different word processing methods from writing to typewriter to electric typewriter to computer. With the computer he used numerous different programs including WordPerfect and AppleWorks. I’ve had to hack into these files because they don’t directly load into modern software. They first get loaded into a text editor before they get copied and pasted into my final editing program (in this case, I’m using Scrivener).

Then I need to fix all of the formatting errors that crept in due to incompatible fonts and things that the text editor couldn’t read.

Then I mark up the manuscript and then I need to let it rest for a couple of weeks before I do the revisions. I try to think, not about what I would put into the story, but what would my dad write. What did my dad want to say. I’m not going to lie, I have had some one-sided screaming matches while editing the stories. It’s a process.

My final stage is to get crits and beta readers to go over the manuscript for a final review.

The process is a little more like being an archaeologist than an editor but it’s not your average editing process, that’s for sure.

A Month Later

Yes, It’s been a month since the last time that I’ve posted here. That would be because I was working on other projects. But I’m putting those on hold while I shift back to focussing on writing and editing.
If you scroll back to the last couple of posts, you’ll know that I am currently editing “The Sword of Justice”
I’ll be working on this throughout the months of November and December, if you want more information about this and similar updates, I would recommend signing up for my newsletter.
November is Nanowrimo, which for most people means, time to write novels! I will be taking part, but like everything else, I won’t be doing things the regular way that everyone else is. I’m going to be using Nanowrimo, to help work on scheduling dedicated time in the day for writing and/or editing. That way, I’m hoping that I can just continue after November having that built in that habit. I already do this with comics I now just need to be able to do this reliably with editing and writing.
Now that I’ve done the housecleaning as they say, I feel the need to add something fun to this post, because you guys are here to read…or at least I hope that’s what you are here for….
I’m going to plunk in the passage from “The Sword of Justice” that drew me in and made me decide to work on this novel next:

Tregashin was a large city, as befitted the capital of a nation. It was also a busy place, even dangerous in some areas.   The Inn of Hero’s Desire was close enough to the waterfront to be  a little unsafe, but far enough away that the truly dangerous  people were unlikely to be found there.  On an evening in spring, Dharmen the Wizard found himself  seated alone at a table in that inn, waiting for his supper, his  back to the wall, watching what was happening all around. He was  a youngish man for a Wizard, his brown hair greying slightly at  the temples, a few white hairs in his beard. His nose was small  and slightly upturned, his face broad, and he seemed almost a  comical figure until one looked at his eyes. The eyes were  hazel-coloured, with something in them which said that they had  seen terrible things and felt little fear for mere Men.

  There was a man across the room, a large man who looked like  a labourer on the docks, who was buying ale for everyone, though  he himself consumed little. Dharmen had been watching him and  noticing that as the evening went on he appeared to get drunker  and drunker. He was probably a spy, Dharmen decided, but it was  difficult to say who he would be a spy for. He could find out,  Dharmen was sure, but the risk of drawing unwanted attention to himself made it not worthwhile.  He dropped his left hand casually to the large pouch at his  belt, then brought the hand up again, clutching a thin wrist.

  The wrist was connected on one side to a grubby hand clutching a  small but very sharp knife, and on the other side to a skinny  gangling youth, whose hair would have been blonde had it been  clean. His face was thin his nose prominent, and in his eyes  arrogance warred with fear.

  Dharmen looked at him. “Sit down.”

  He released the wrist, and the boy sat down. As he did so,  the expression on his face became one of fear, for sitting down  was one thing which he had no wish to do.

Dharmen smiled. “Yes,  I am a Wizard. And no, you need have no fear of what I might  change you into. I doubt if I will even turn you over to the  Watch; seeing you safely locked up, with your crime witnessed,  and all would require more time than I can spare.

  “But can I turn you loose?” he continued, as though musing  to himself. “What choice do I make, when even not to choose is a  choice in itself?”  He sighed, “So. I will take you along with me, hire you as  my apprentice and servant. What do you say to that? With me,  while you may not always be comfortable, I will promise that when  I have food, so will you.”

A Personal Update

As I am editing the final proof for the Amazon print copy of The Search for the Unicorns I’m having a moment to reflect on the author, my dad.

Unlike many publishers, I have an emotional attachment to the author and his work because he was my dad, but not only that. As I read over the manuscripts I remember at what stage in his life he was and where I was.

In 1987, I would have been in grade 6 going into grade 7. I also can’t help but think that the main character Carla, had bits of me in there, no matter how small. It is very much a coming of age story and discovering who you are as a person. This is something that I was beginning to explore at that age. So interesting point there.

Which makes me think about his target audience. Was I his target audience? It wouldn’t be that hard to imagine for me as I grew up hearing him tell me stories, sometimes made up sometimes they were from books. Sometimes the lines blurred. I didn’t realise for the longest time that parents simply didn’t just make up stories to tell their kids so that they would fall asleep.

Which brings me to why I’m self-publishing his books. I’m self-publishing all of his novels that I can, mostly for myself and also for his memory. Is it at all about sales? No, it’s about putting out stories that should be out there on shelves and in homes of people. But even if no one buys a single copy of any of these books, as long as I’ve marketed them and have made them as accessible as possible, I’ll have done what I perceive as my job.

Having said that, there are things that I can do that a traditional publisher wouldn’t and couldn’t do. Like a series of pictures based on scenes from the book and like hand leather-bound limited editions of the book. These are the next projects that I will be working on, along with the next manuscript of course.

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The Search For The Unicorns is Live!

I am delighted to announce that The Search For The Unicorns ebook is available everywhere! Now yes, this is the ebook version.

It’s available on Amazon, it’s available on Kobo, basically you name the place, you can buy it there.

If you want to buy an ebook directly from me, email me at: [email protected] and we can make arrangements from there.

If you are wanting a hard copy of the book it will be made available in a little while, why am I not giving an exact time? Because I am waiting on proofs to come back from the printer and other last minute technical stuff before it can be released.

All of the subscribers to my email list have already heard the news, if you want to hear about when the next book is coming out, then subscribe to my newsletter!

That Thing I Never Told You About

Hello! It’s me again!

You may be wondering, Beth, why haven’t you written in here for a month?

Well, friends, I have a confession.

I haven’t been writing in here lately because this month I’ve taken time away from everything else in order to write a first draft of a novel in a month. I was unsure of whether or not I’d be able to stick to my schedule so I didn’t want to say anything until I was finished my 30 day schedule. However, now that I am 2/3 of the way done, I feel comfortable in announcing that I am writing something.

Here’s the thing. I’ve never written a novel before. Not a full length novel anyway, most of my stories have either been short stories or comics. I’ll continue to post my progress as I go. Once the story is ready to go, I’ll be posting it on Wattpad and eliciting feedback so that I know what to work on and where my blindspots are.

Next Month I’ll be working on rewrites for this book and I’ll be reading over “Who Would Destroy the Gods”. I’ll be keeping everyone up to date on both of these projects.

For those of you who want more details on the first draft of my novel and what it’s all about, subscribe to my newsletter!