Tag Archives: Indie Publishing

EDITING 101: 14 – Self-Editing Part 2…

In Part 14 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape, Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 2 of Self-Editing. She discusses proper and improper usage of semi-colons and commas. Consider these examples: Woman without her man is nothing; Woman, without her man, is nothing; Woman, without her, man is nothing. Hop over to Chris’ blog and enjoy the fascination of punctuation 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Self-Editing Part 2

Last week in Self-Editing Part 1 we talked about some specific tasks that can be done while self-editing.

Today we’re going to talk about tasks involving grammar.

Grammar was developed to make writing understandable since you’re not there to correct any misunderstandings.

Your writing needs to stand on its own two feet!

  1. Using commas properly. The first use of the comma is to replace the word “and.”

  • I went to the store and bought apples and pears and bread and milk.

  • I went to the store, buying apples, pears, bread, and milk.

The first example is not wrong, but the excessive use of the word “and” makes it hard to read. A comma is generally not used…

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EDITING 101: 13 – Self-Editing Part 1…

In Part 13 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape, Susan Uttendorfsky presents Part 1 of self-editing. She discusses searching for weak verbs and overused words, and how to vary sentence constructions. As I’m finalizing my manuscript and preparing to publish my next novel, this series has been extremely helpful. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful as well …

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Self Editing Part 1

Some of the things we’ve discussed previously are good to be on the watch for and remove, but there are other, specific tasks that can be done when a manuscript’s completed to help polish it. Since there are many of these odd jobs, this specific post will continue over time.

Editing your own work involves hard labor. Other authors have mentioned they make as many as ten to fifteen passes in editing, revising, and reworking, focusing on one or two aspects of self-editing each time. Those authors are to be commended, since writing a book is only one third of the work. Editing is the second third, and publishing and marketing take up the final third. You’re…

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EDITING 101: 12 – Directions and Impossibilities…

In Part 12 of her Editing 101 series, Susan Uttendorfsky covers directional redundancies and impossible actions. Do we stand up or do we stand? Do we throw our eyes across the room or do we throw someone a scathing glance? Hop over to The Story Reading Ape to read this enlightening post . . .

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Directions and Impossibilities

Welcome to today’s article! I hope you’re keeping busy and life is not getting in the way of your writing schedule too much.

We’re going to talk about two short items today. The first is directional redundancies. It’s a big term, isn’t it? It was covered briefly in EDITING 101: 01, Redundancies, but I wanted to go a little further with it. In the previous article, one of the examples was “Her tears ran down her cheeks,” and I pointed out that tears can only run in one direction, can’t they? When was the last time you ever saw somebody’s tears run up their cheeks? (Perhaps if they were hanging upside down on a jungle gym, but…

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EDITING 101: 11 – Using a Thesaurus…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 11 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape: Using a Thesaurus. Do you want your writing to sound colorful or pompous? Hop over to Chris Graham’s blog for the details…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using a Thesaurus

When you were in grammar school, you were taught the terms antonym and synonym. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word: love/hate, hot/cold, spring/fall, light/dark. Synonyms are words meaning the same thing (or nearly the same thing): light/bright, traitor/Benedict Arnold, flat/horizontal, soft/cushiony. A thesaurus is a book which lists synonyms for many words and can come in very handy for a writer. The first one you were exposed to was probably Roget’s Thesaurus. The one I like to use is the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. If you don’t want to use a book, there are online thesauri, such as http://www.thesaurus.com and http://freethesaurus.net/. Microsoft Word has a built-in thesaurus. You can…

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EDITING 101: 10 – What Happens When You Die? – NOT in a Metaphysical sense…

In Part 10 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape, Susan Uttendorfsky discuses the need for authors to plan for how they want their intellectual property handled in the event of their death..

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

What Happens When You Die?

Wait, wait, don’t run away.

This is not a religious post.

This is a practical, necessary discussion about your writing, your books, your accounts, etc., when you bite the dust.

It’s going to happen to all of us, sooner or later, and writers have additional details to worry about—or their heirs and estates, if the writers don’t address it. What happens to your copyright? What happens to your accounts? Who can keep selling your books? There are lots of questions to answer, and it’s best if you think about it ahead of time. You’ve learned a lot through your journey of writing, publishing, and marketing. How many years did it take you to get where you…

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EDITING 101: 09 – Cutting “ly” Adverbs and Enhancing Scenes… (LINKS RQD from 06)

In Part 9 of her Editing 101 series on the The Story Reading Ape’s blog, Susan Uttendorfsky talks about cutting “ly” adverbs from our manuscripts, which will enhance scenes and add to the word count. “Rover sniffed excitedly, hot on the trail” or “Rover threw his head in the air and barked as he turned toward me, indicating that I should follow. At my first step he tore off ahead, sniffing the ground and wagging his tail, hot on the trail of the killer”? Head over and try your hand at rewriting one of Susan’s easy-way-out sentences…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Cutting “ly” Adverbs and Enhancing Scenes

Good morning, proactive, hands-on self-editors! Are you ready for your next task?

In EDITING 101: 03 ‘THAT’s the Problem in Revising’, we talked about cutting out individual words and decreasing word count. I told you then we’d talk further about more cutting, but in a way which would increase your word count. That’s what will happen when you cut out “ly” adverbs.

First off, why are “ly” adverbs so horrible? They’re not. Yes, you heard me right—they’re a perfectly legitimate part of English and their appropriate use is not prohibited. Let me state it another way:

  • It’s ok to use “ly” adverbs!

I think she’s really gone off the deep end this time, Chris. Honestly…

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EDITING 101: 08 – Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript…

Susan Uttendorfsky is a guest on The Story Reading Ape with Part 8 of her EDITING 101 Series: Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript. While many of us might think song lyrics would animate a romantic scene, Susan gives us several good reasons why not to use them…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript

You’ve just written the most perfect restaurant love scene imaginable. As your two main characters unite on the dance floor, the haunting strains of “Unchained Melody” play in the background. The lovers gaze deeply into each other’s eyes as the song’s lyrics pass through their ears, melding their souls together in acoustical rapture:

Oh, my…”

Wait! Stop! Halt!! Turn off the radio, unplug the phonograph, and disconnect your online radio station! Are you crazy? Are you looking for a lawsuit?

<Author looks around incredulously>

Who, me? Now what does this woman want me to do? Eliminate the perfect words from this scene?”

Yep, that’s exactly what I want you to do. You’re not…

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Basics Every Indie Author Needs Before Publishing a Book – Guest Post…

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is The Story Reading Ape’s guest today, discussing the difference between a writer and an author, as well as outlining the 3 basics every aspiring author should do before publishing a book: Investment, Author Platform, Social Media. As most of us know who have been at it a while, these are 3 staples for the published author as well. Are you a writer or an author?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Blog Post 2

When I published my first book, I didn’t see my writing as a business. It was just me doing what I’ve always wanted to do. However, as I began to learn and as I continue to learn, I quickly discovered why Self-Publishing requires so much work: It’s a business.

That doesn’t take away from the fun of it, but the realization did help me to become more organized. I quickly learned why no one was buying: I wasn’t working! Writing is working, technically, and I was doing plenty of that. However, I was not working on the skill of writing, researching my industry, understanding tips to help me to write better books, promoting, marketing, and everything in-between. I was writing, sure. But the business of writing? I didn’t even know it existed. I was a writer and that was all. When I got into the business of writing however, that’s…

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EDITING 101: 06 – He Said / She Said: Dialogue Tags…

In Part 6 of Editing 101, Susan Uttendorfsky discusses dialogue tags and action tags. I found this very enlightening and think it’s something that a lot of writers struggle with. Hop over to The Story Reading Ape’s blog to read Susan’s informative article with its helpful suggestions…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

He Said / She Said: Dialogue Tags

Can you pass the salt?” Richard asked.

Like hell,” Katherine muttered.

Did you say something, sweetie?” Richard continued.

I will not pass you the salt!” Katherine shouted.

And on we go, another happy marriage on the rocks. So, what’s wrong with this exchange? It’s a combination of several things, but we’re going to focus on one: dialogue tags.

In Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne and Dave King start their chapter on dialogue mechanics by quoting a New York Times reviewer discussing a book by Mr. Robert Ludlum:

Characters in The Bourne Ultimatum seldom “say” anything. Instead, they cry, interject, interrupt, muse, state, counter, conclude, mumble, whisper … intone…

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EDITING 101: 05 – General Plurals…

Susan Uttendorfsky  brings us the fifth in her fabulous editing series via our ever-supportive Story Reading Ape. If you sometimes are addled when pluralizing certain nouns, hop over and read this informative article…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

General Plurals

When we’re writing anything, most plurals are obvious. One man, two men; one table, two tables; one goose, two geese; one moose, two meese… Now wait a minute there. As you can see, sometimes the plural of a noun is not as simple as it seems. Read the following sentences and see if you can figure out which are correct and which are not:

A. Moving out of my apartment, John and Kane, my brother-in-laws, dropped my favorite lamp.

B. All the cannon fired simultaneously at the enemy.

C. Our current cows consist of Jerseyes and Holsteins.

So, how do you think you did?

A. The noun “brother-in-law” is pluralized using the active noun, “brother.” Hence, the sentence shown…

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