Monday, June 13, 2016

Edit, At Last, Is Finished - For Now

Edit, edit, edit. It seems like I will never get time to write again, well maybe. I am done with my initial part of the edit – at last. After a read through, making simple corrections and making sure the flow of the story made sense, I ran a grammar checker. After I am satisfied with that part, I take my list of 12 words I tend to use too much, this part takes a few hours, or sometimes days.
Sometimes When I Am Not Editing, I Give Historical Talks at Really Neat Places
  With Some Really Great People

12 Overused Words

Here is my list, the list I make sure that I am not using too much.

- Just, stuff, things, got, went, every, feel, almost, each, there, you, and because- 

There they are, the 12 words I check each time, and I have used several in this post. Some writers overuse the word very, not me. In this novel I used it twice, I can live with that, especially if it is in conversation, which it was.

My Rules
1.  Be careful taking any words out of conversations, you know the, he said, she said parts, the ones in, “quotes.”
2.  I don’t worry if a word is used only once on a page, I will look at it but not with my, “this has to change, red pen.”
3.  If the same word, one of the 12 above is used more than once in a sentence, make sure to change one – always.
4.  Try to reduce by at least 10 percent, I shot for 20% and changed 23% this time.
5.  Don’t change words integral to the story, even if it seems overused. If the tale is about a horse race – don’t try to change the word horse or race, it will sound stiff and like the writer is trying too hard.

How to Make the Changes

It’s easy and fast, use the find and replace buttons on the home section of MS/Word. It will highlight the chosen word each time it was used. Take it from there, change, erase, or leave it be.

Ghost of the Fawn

Ghost of the Fawn is the novel I have been editing. It is a novel of present and Wyoming's historic past. It is pointed toward young adults, although I think it will be enjoyed by adults as well. It is complete at a  bit over 53, 500 words and with the font size, and book size I use will be 227 pages give or take a few.

Here is a Short Excerpt 

Chapter 1

June 2015, Hell’s Half Acre Wyoming

  Jimmy Bison-Man and Robert Lincoln sat shivering near the back of a small, crumbling sandstone cave tucked away on the west side of the canyons of Hell’s Half-Acre Wyoming. Shivering from both the early morning summer cold, and what they did not want to admit, fear.  Fear of what, of things they did not know?    Oowoo, oowoo, oowoo, “that’s spooky?”  Oowoo, oowoo, “What is that, sure sounds like more than just the wind?” Robert said, before turning to look for something warmer than the t-shirt he wore.
    He pulled out a bright red hoodie, emblazoned with the word Hoosiers, pulled it over his head then crossed his arms and patted himself in an attempt to either warm-up or rid himself of the many self-doubts occupying his mind.
   Neither Robert nor Jimmy was afraid in the sense that most would see fear.  The cave didn’t scare them, nor did, the darkness, bats, or the eerie, howling winds, nothing to do with their current living accommodations was scary. It was about who they were, where they were going, and where they were from, for these two big city Indian teenagers. They didn’t know it, not yet, but maybe, just maybe, this cave, this canyon, and their lives were supposed to be together here, tied by fate through their Arapaho elder's generations ago.
       A hawk cried far overhead Jimmy looked up, “I think we may be getting a sign,” he said. Then added, “Wish I knew what it meant.
Robert, who was more often the talkative one, didn’t answer. He looked up at the hawk, shrugged and tried to get comfortable on the rock outcropping where he perched.
   Today the two sat, mostly in silence, looking at each other across a tiny smokeless sage wood fire. Both seemed to be lost in thought, perhaps thinking the same thing, some form of, “What are we doing here?” 
Surprised Look I had When I Realized I Was Finished With My Part of the Book

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