If I have to read that one more time…

Edits. I hates them. But not why you think.

Yes, they take for... ever. Hours scribbling on paper, crossing out words, adding others, checking references. My back burns, my eyes ache and that niggly tickling pain creeps down my leg. (Sciatica sucks.)

I've lost count of how many times I sift through my thesaurus looking for that one word - the perfect one - to describe a character's mood, to show how they feel; stomping down the hallway conjures up a completely different image to inching down the hallway. (In this case: her footsteps padded on the carpet runner...)

But rewrites and edits are one of the most important steps in writing. They can take longer the first draft (depending on the quality of the first draft). Some of my stories have three rewrites; others - such has Tomorrow, When I Die - take up to eight or nine rewrites. It depends on how well the story was planned out, how much research was done (or needed doing), whether the story had taken a left turn and wandered off into uncharted territory or, in my case, how ill I was when scratching out the first draft.

There is nothing more annoying - or disappointing - as reading a story with dangling plot lines, sloppy writing or bad grammar. I've seen whole sentences repeated on occasion. I just don't understand how such stories get published - even by the big publishers. It seems to be an acceptable way of cost-cutting for some. <Insert heavy sigh and enormous sad face here.>

But what's the real reason I hate editing?

When I've read through a story for the umpteenth time, the fun and games seem to lose their gloss. It would be different if I could just enjoy the adventure - but no - I have to examine, judge, decide. I have to keep count of how many times a character has 'raised an eyebrow', whether they are sitting down or standing up and ask myself: 'can she really see that if she's hiding under the desk?'

It gets to a point where the manuscript gets slapped on the table and the house shudders with: "I can't take this any more!"

And that's when I know. It is done. It is time for my editor to check for commas and spelling mistakes. I press send and await her report.

I pour myself a cup of tea, nibble on a piece of chocolate and catch up on that series I missed... but not for long.

There's still one more story to finish. A new story. One last adventure for Viola and her friends. I'll miss them. They've taught me a lot. (The good news is the editing funk is not permanent; when I go back and read the stories next year, it will be all new again.)

Now, where are my notebooks for The Illusioneer?

Photo Friday: New Covers and Events

It's all happening. My plan cannot fail - as long as file submissions go through without a hitch and parcels don't get lost in the mail (my first book had a two week holiday in Hawaii before the post finally decided to move along). Sigh. I celebrated finishing up my manuscript with sticky bun and tea. Then celebrated again (with my fantastic editor, Sharon) the next day. Chocolate cake, of course! _20160811_143833_20160811144146366   DSC_1445_20160818184719658 What is the plan? In the grand tradition of villian monologues, I shall spill it: the second Journal will be published as two separate eBooks and a paperback (complete)
  • eBook #1: The Adventures of Viola Stewart #3: Three More Short Stories published July 
  • eBook #2: The Adventures of Viola Stewart #4: Eye of the Beholder to be published late August
  • Eye of the Beholder & Other Tales: The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #2 pre-book launch 11th September, official book launch 17/18th September.
And here's the official cover reveal for Eye of the Beholder eBook (#4) - Mummies. Curses. Madness...? Cover 4d EYE OF BEHOLDER EbookSMALL2 And the cover for the paperback, Eye of the Beholder & Other Tales: The Adventures of Viola Stewart Journal #2: COVER Eye of Beholder flipped option 2 SM CENTERED TITLE   And some giveaway bookmarks: bookmarks_badges_copyright2016KarenCarlisle There's also a new event in my calendar: Halloween Comic Con. What better way to celebrate than with Jack the Ripper and cursed mummies? banner Halloween Comic con_990_350  

The Power of Words

It's been a fantastic week. A little rain for the garden. Some sunny days for my enjoyment. No significant pain. I finally feel like I have shaken off the effects of the anaesthetic. I've rewritten and edited scenes and almost caught up on the months lost to pre-surgery health hiccups... The final words loomed. I just had to type them. Just two words. A wave of relief swept over me. It's done. My fingers hovered over the keyboard. Twitch. I hesitated. A voice niggled at the back of my brain. Months of research, a year of writing, rewrites, editing, chasing up translations... With two words my story, and my beloved characters, would no longer be my own. They would belong to the world. To my readers. I had bared my soul. What if I could do better? What if they were rejected? What if...? Have you ever had one of those anxiety dreams? You know, like the one where life is fantastic - right up until you find yourself standing stark naked, transported suddenly into a crowded room and suddenly every single person turns and stares at you? And there's nowhere to hide. My fingers trembled. And the penny dropped.  There was one thing more terrifying than baring my soul and risking rejection: facing a blank page. My heart sank. What if I can't come up with another story? What if this was it? The... <gulp> ...end? Another voice whispered in my ear:

Fear is the enemy. I can't let it define me. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I had to turn the fear into courage or I would never succeed. I had to finish my story. I had to face the next blank page and new possibilities.

I took a deep breath and pressed the keys: T-H-E E-N-D.

THE_END