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Black and whiteOK, fellow authors, give me some feedback.

You’ve finished your final draft and submitted it to your publisher. Now come the edits. Once you get to the final proof, you read through it, scrutinize it to make sure everything is good, and sign off on the final.

When your print books are released, you grab one and read through it. What? Son of a gun! You spot a mistake. How did that happen?

Does this fault lie with the editor? Or is it on your shoulders, since you signed off and accepted it as finished and complete?

My first novel, Gambler’s Folly, published through Bookstrand,  went through the process. I signed on the dotted line, and when my print books came out, I grabbed one to read.

And about two chapters in I found a mistake. It was where we had changed the wording in a particular sentence. After we’d both gone through it several times, nobody noticed that the final had the original word and the correction in the sentence.

Do I blame the editor who worked with me on the book? No. I signed off on the final proof. I admit I have trouble proofreading on the computer screen. Things always look a little different on the printed page to me.

But I was the last person to go over the proofs. I accepted what I received from the editor and called it done.

Would I work with this editor again? Absolutely! He did a fantastic job. I loved his feedback on my work.

Will I go over the finals a little more carefully next time?

I’ll do my best, but I’m as human as my editor. Every now and again, something is going to slip through the cracks.

So, what is your opinion? Do you take responsibility for the oops, or do you rant and rave at the editor who let it slide past?

I decided to own up and say, yeah, I missed that one.

What about you?

Haven’t read Gambler’s Folly?

http://amzn.com/1627405844

http://www.amazon.com/Gamblers-Folly-BookStrand-Publishing-Romance-ebook/dp/B00EKWRB3S/

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Gamblers-Folly-Bookstrand-Publishing-Romance/Mellie-E-Miller/9781627405843?id=6142571080981

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gamblers-folly-mellie-e-miller/1116472748?ean=9781627405843

http://www.bookstrand.com/gamblers-folly

mem-gamblersfolly

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Black and whiteGet along little…? Can you fill in the blank correctly?

Call it a pet peeve. Call it overly sensitive. Call it OCD. Call it anything you like, but twice in a week I’ve seen this quoted, or something similar, and both times the above line has been finished with “doggie.”

Incorrect!

Most people quote it as yippee ki yi yay, get along little doggie, which is doubly incorrect.

The original lyrics were:

Whoppee ti yi yo, get along little dogie.

Now, I realize spell check probably doesn’t like this word, and it is from a different era, out on the range. But dogie is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

A doggie is a creature of the canine variety.

The lyrics to this cowboy ballad were first published in John Lomax’s  Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It has been performed by many different people and groups including: Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Charlie Daniel, The Kingston Trio, and Sons of the Pioneers.

So, unless you’re herding dogs, the word to use here is dogie.

I smell lunch cooking, so this little dogie is gonna go eat.

Get along little dogies! Talk to you later.

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Mel and Gambler's FollyAll right, out here in the country, with chickens and gardens, you can’t be lazy. Sometimes my mind is a little hazy, mainly from lack of sleep.  But it certainly is crazy around here!

With everything summer brings, it can be a little difficult to get the writing done on that next novel. But I have a new one in queue with my editor, so stay tuned!

So many people ask why I need an editor. It’s a good question. The idea was mine; the writing is mine; it’s my story.

And therein lies the problem.

It is my baby. I gave it life, but it has a few issues I can’t see because I’m too close to it. When I read through it, I know all the back story–those bits which came before the story. I gloss over mistakes because I see what should be on the page sometimes, instead of what is.

I don’t notice that I’m using the same descriptors repeatedly, or using a particular filler word in every paragraph.

My editor does.

When I get the manuscript back, dripping red ink, there are notes like, Where the heck did this come from? It is from that information I know about the characters and their backgrounds which hasn’t been passed along to you, dear reader.

Oops…

Or if, in a phone conversation, she says, “If he chuckles one more time, I’m gonna hit something,” I’ll realize my character sounds more like a lunatic than a hero. (She says chuckling to herself…)

She’ll notice if my writing has become wooden in areas instead of lyric. Am I telling you too much instead of letting you see it for yourself?

They may sound like little things, but a good editor can take that diamond, which you’ve painstakingly cut from the surrounding stone, and shape its facets to bring out its true beauty.

She may let you do the final polish…

If you’re thinking of hiring an editor, talk to them first and find out what they charge for the different types of editing services they provide.

Will they give you an estimate if you send them a sample?

Do they give new clients a price break?

What other questions do you have about editing or the editing process?

What other services do they provide?

The lady who puts the final seal on my work is RuleBreaker Editing. She does a fantastic job. My books wouldn’t be what they are without her critical eye.

Once you’ve hired an editor, grow some thick skin. The first time you see one of your babies edited can be intimidating, even heart wrenching.

It’s all right. It isn’t personal. They want your manuscript to be the very best it can be. Think about labor pains. They are certainly not pleasant, but they are necessary if you want that baby to be born.

So if you’re writing a book, college paper, or even an important letter and want to make sure it is at its best before you send it on its way, consider hiring an editor.

You’ll love the result.

In the meantime, it’s time to gather eggs!

Jareth Cover art finalEsperance2_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer and War.Way

mem-gamblersfolly

 

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Black and whiteHow many times have you heard it? Which is better, actor A or actor B, writer C or writer D? It seems anytime there is talk of one actor, author, director, playwright–whatever–someone asks the question.

Why do we have this need to compete with each other? Or in this case, the need to force a competitive attitude between followers? There is plenty of room for everyone.

Our family did an experiment one time. There is a particular song that we had on a CD that my husband loved. Because of the title, he thought there must be a story behind it, so he asked the three ladies of the family–me, and daughters Katherine and Dawn–all writers, to write our story of the composition.

And we did.

Were the stories interesting? Fascinating? Well written?

Yes!

Were they the same story?

No!

Were they all good stories?

Quite!

My story and Dawn’s stories followed a similar theme, but were quite different in style and conclusion. Katherine’s story took a completely different path- one that I would never have imagined.

Was it a good story! I loved it, partly because I could never have conceived it. Would I read it again? Certainly!

What did we learn from this? That not everyone sees the same story from the same inspiration, but that all the stories have merit. They were equal in quality while being different in most other ways.

There are thousands of authors, playwrights, directors, actors–you name it–out there and many of them are tremendously talented. So trying to say this one is better than that one is personal opinion. No two of them are going to be best in every area, but they can both be leaders in their field.

Give two different authors an idea for a book and have them write from that idea. The two books will be completely different, even if they both write the same genre. Once those books have been edited and rewrites finished, you’ll have two different books, both of which will be fantastic, but different.

Which will be better? That’s a matter of personal opinion. It’s can’t be quantified. I like both Ellis Peters and Dorothy Sayers. Which one is better? I couldn’t say. It depends on what I want to read at the time.

Let’s stop forcing competition where there is no need. The marketplace is hazardous enough without complicating matters. Wouldn’t it be better if we were to encourage each other to do our best?

The world deserves out best effort. Let’s give each other a hand!

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