Tag Archives: writing

The Editing Life

Hi friends,

I have a few blog posts going but in the midst of Heritage edits, I felt inspired to put those aside and focus on a writer’s best friend/worse enemy: the editing phase!

Yes that dreaded beloved part of the writing process where the magic really happens!

Like a magic trick, the final product – in this case a book –  is revealed as a wondrous whole but the audience doesn’t get to see the work that went into making that illusion real.

There’s a lot to consider when editing a book. There are different stages of editing. A first draft is often a mess of ideas and strings of words (some writers nail it on the first try – they are the exception) and requires rewrites and revisions of characters, subplots, arcs. Once the story is solid (it can take a few edits to get it right), then come the line edits where the focus is on the language conveying the tale, the style of prose, the voice. And then there are the nitty gritty copy edits and proofreads where grammar and syntax and spelling are cleaned up for a final copy.

Right now, I’m somewhere between a developmental and line edit. I’ve been tackling Heritage since early 2016 after writing it for NaNoWriMo in 2015. Since then, I’ve made a lot of big changes, primarily:

  1. Switched from third person to first person
  2. Switched the gender of a character from male to female
  3. Extended a subplot that needed more room to breathe and develop
  4. Removed a whole subplot that slowed the action at the beginning
  5. Basically rewrote it to suit a younger audience. Originally wrote with Young Adults in mind. Now, it is aimed at Middle Grade.

I had thought at this point in my writing process, that Heritage would be ready for my critique partners and editor. But new revelations have thrown a wrench at the best laid plans…

Because it has occurred to me that Heritage should be written in third person POV!

You say now: “But Faith! You spent a whole edit just changing it from third to first. What are you doing to yourself?”

I answer you: “I am doing what must be done to save the story I love.”

Though it’s certainly not as epic as that, this edit feels like I’m taking on an insurmountable obstacles. But I love this story enough to make one last big change and reap the reward at the end.

So that’s where I am, but I wonder if I would be here if I had taken different steps earlier on.

When I first wrote Heritage, I wasn’t thinking enough about audience or POV. I was thinking story, characters, world and theme. Which isn’t a bad thing. My story came out strong enough on the first try because I knew where I was going – even though some things changed during the writing because as much as I plan, I also leave myself open to diverge as inspiration strikes.

What I have learned from this experience is how important is to decide on the voice and POV and audience at the start. It was always something I took for granted. I assumed YA, but I never allowed myself to consider MG. I wrote in third because I struggle with first then changed it because I believed the narrative needed a more intimate voice. But the whimsy I want to capture with it now written as MG means I need a third person narration.

I am glad for this learning curve and proud of it. Ever since Heritage, I’ve taken more care to consider more thoroughly where I want to go with my stories and who I want to reach them with and the proper voice to convey them.

Eléonore and Heralding were published after I’d switched from third to first in Heritage and so I was able to recognize early on that the only way to tell that story was in Eléonore’s voice with all the snark and maternal love she has.

So writing tip for the week, friends! Even if you’re a pantser, don’t overlook the importance of determining voice and audience from the start. It will save you a big headache further down the line. Believe you, me!


Friendly reminder: if you’re looking for an editor to tackle your novel or screenplay, my sister and I offer editing services here: Inky Service 😉

And question for you, friends. What has been your most ‘painful’ edit? Share in the comments and let’s discuss the editing life!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

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Mid-Month Check-In | 01.18

Hi friends,

The first half of January is over and done with! The year has just begun and it’s already speeding by!

I hope it’s been a great start to the year for you. It’s been busy here for me, what with things happening beyond my control, but I’ve been staying as productive as possible and trying not to get so stressed. I think it’s working. I certainly have accepted that you have to (forgive the trite saying) roll with the punches.

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In terms of my goals for January, I’m rather pleased with a lot of the progress I’ve made…

  1. Finish my current edit of Heritage – I’m over halfway there, and that’s with more rewriting than I’ve done on a project since Pirate Eyes in August 2016!
  2. Type up the handwritten first draft of Destinies Entwined – I’ve typed up 20k so far but I have at least another 50k to go, so this might not get done, but as long as good chunk is through, I’ll be happy
  3. Launch service with my sister – ACCOMPLISHED. In case you missed last week’s post, we launched our editing service for manuscripts and scripts last week. You can find us at Inky Squid Editing
  4. Post at least three blog posts here to help other writers – The first of these should be posted Friday, so eyes open 🙂
  5. Read 4-5 books – I’ve read four books so far (Wuthering Heights, Howl’s Moving Castle, Keep Her Safe & A Desperate Fortune) – for more on this, check out my new review blog BooksSpringEternal
  6. Watch 5-6 movies – I have accomplished this as of yesterday! My sister and I did a double feature downtown and watched Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water! Both were extraordinary. I also rewatched North & South (the BBC miniseries), Howl’s Moving Castle & Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and we caught The Last Jedi last Friday! Needless to say, it’s been an amazing month in movies thus far!!
  7. Write one short story – Well on the way to this one. I have a story outlined and I’ll be writing it this week and next.
  8. Finish character sketches for secret project with my sister – Finished in the first week!

 

So yes! I’m feeling rather accomplished today 🙂

 


How about you, friends? How is your month going so far? Anything exciting happen? Share in the comments and let’s cheer each other on through the good times and the more difficult!

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May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

That Secret Project with my Sister… not a secret anymore!

Hi friends,

I can’t believe we’re finally here. At this moment.

For the past six months you’ve heard me mention a secret project that I’ve been working on with my sister. Well I can finally tell you what it is.

…….

…….

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We have officially launched an EDITING service for authors and screenwriters! It’s been a dream of ours to pursue a career in the written word. We’re writers first, but editing is a passion of ours too!

If you, or anyone else you know, are looking for an editor, why not come give our website a turn around to see if we might be a good fit for you! We’re offering promotional prices for the first six months.

https://www.inky-squid.com/

Here’s a quick blurb from the site:

Inky Squid is an editing service run by us, Faith and Chelsea, sisters who share a love of storytelling. Readers from a young age, becoming writers was the first logical choice. From there, editing was the next calling to make stories our life’s purpose.

Partners-in-crime, we’re all about collaboration and teamwork.
We look forward to getting to know you and your story!

Our site isn’t just about offering editing services, though. We also have a blog where we’ll be sharing tidbits about the writing and editing process, and a resource page where we link to other helpful websites for writers. Wnd will soon be posting worksheets of our own to further help you in your writing journey

Lots of exciting things coming soon everywhere!

Maybe I’ll see you over there 😉


Stay well, friends! And never stop pursuing your dreams! The road may be long, but the journey is part of what makes it worthwhile.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Month Ahead | December 2017

Hi friends!

Wow,  it’s been another case of long time no see, hasn’t it?

I can’t begin to tell you how crazy the month of November was. As most of you are aware, I’ve been preparing Heralding for publication. She releases Monday (December 4th)!! Plus I participated in NaNoWriMo and just managed to hit 51k on the 30th. And then life was, well, life.

All that to say, blogging was not at the forefront of my mind this past month. It’s been a difficult 2017 in my family life, but at least I have my health and my creativity and the best sister is the whole wide world!

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I am glad to put November behind me and move into the last month of December (the best month not only because of Christmas, but it’s my birthday and now both my book babies’ birthdays too!!)

Here’s what I have planned this month:

DECEMBER GOALS:

  1. Celebrate Heralding’s release December 4th (hold Giveaway, attend first real book event, etc…)
  2. Finish writing first draft of Destinies Entwined (I’m almost into act 3, so this shouldn’t be a problem)
  3. Finish editing Heritage from YA to MG (I had to put this aside with pressing release dates, but I am excited to finish it this month)
  4. Work on secret project with my sister (one that’s already six years or so in the making)
  5. Launch exciting project with my sister (been preparing for this all year round and it’s just about ready)
  6. Read eleven books (yes, this is crazy)
  7. Watch five movies (already one down. Rewatched Enchanted with my sister last night :))
  8. Fix up blog and prepare for new shiny things in new shiny year (SO MANY THINGS PLANNED!!)




Hope your November wasn’t too stressful!

What are your goals this month, friends? Share with me. I’d love to know.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

 

You Should Read This | March & April 2017

Hi friends!

Sorry for the long delay since my last post. It’s not as bad as it’s been in the past. I’m just in the midst of preparing Heralding for publication.

Also, keep an eye open tomorrow for a special post celebrating the release of Sarina Langer’s second book, WARDENS OF ARCHOS!!

I’ve combined March and April for this post just to get us up to date quicker. 😉



WITCHES ABROAD (DISCWORLD #12) – TERRY PRATCHETT

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Genre: Fantasy, Humour

You Should Read This, Because… It’s Pratchett! But seriously, the great thing about this series is that they are perfect blend of fantasy and humour, spoofing popular culture and tropes. This particular installment features the Witches of the Discworld universe focuses on inverting fairytales to humorous effect!

As a reader, it’s a delightfully entertaining read that will induce laugh out loud moments. As a writer, it’s a lesson in writing parodies while balancing humour and heart

 

THE DARK TOWER SERIES – STEPHEN KING

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Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

You Should Read This, Because… There’s nothing else quite like it! Honesty, friends. This series was my first foray into King’s bibliography and I was absolutely. It’s also very difficult to explain the genius of the series without spoiling it. If you’re prepared to follow a dark and sometimes gory epic narrative, to discover just how exceptional a writer King is!

As a reader, it’s a compelling storyline, a long, winding journey that will challenge the way you read again. As a writer, it’s a lesson in crafting unique characters and a genre-blending narrative.

A Shining in the Shadows – Beverley Lee

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(NOTE: this is the sequel to The Making of Gabriel Davenport; my thoughts below are a reflection of the two together)

Genre: Dark Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It’s a perfectly atmospheric read that tiptoes the line between fantasy and horror. A vampire fiction, it strays from any clichés and is remarkably fresh in its narrative. The characters are fascinating, full of flaws and good intentions. Creepy but not lacking heart, it’s a genuine delight.

As a reader, it’s the perfect read to satisfy one’s need for a page-turning read that scares as well as lends insight into the human psyche. As a writer, it’s a lesson in overturning the clichés of the vampire genre and crafting intriguing characters.

On Writing – Stephen King

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Genre: Memoir, How-To

You Should Read This, Because… It’s at once a fascinating look into the mind of a master storyteller. It gives as much insight into King’s writing process as it does his life. His life unfolds as a narrative, written in prose that sends chills, and doesn’t shy away from the truth.

As a reader, it is an entertaining read that satisfies the demands for an insightful memoir. As a writer, it is an enlightening and inspiring examination of the writing process.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

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Genre: Contempary YA

You Should Read This, Because… It provides a vibrant and refreshing voice in a topic that is not only relevant, but in need of greater discussion. This book deals with the prejudice in America against African Americans and the jarring gun violence. Thomas deftly deals with the shooting of an unarmed young man by a police officer, letting the story unfold through the eyes of a young girl who intends to have the truth heard. Charged & unyielding, one of the best books I’ve read this year.

As a reader, it makes you face the harsh and cruel realities of society while enticing you to be part of the change. As a writer, it is a lesson in taking a relevant topic of the day and translating it to an audience in a way that is both gripping and enlightening.


Alright, that’s it for today’s post. Any thoughts on the books I’ve spoken of above? Have you read these? Do you intend to read them? Let me know in the comments! And remember to be on the lookout for Sarina’s new book 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Eléonore | Special Edition | And a Giveaway!!

Hi friends,

I’ve been working hard lately not only on Heralding, but on a special edition of Eléonore with some exciting new features. It’s finally available today as an ebook on Amazon through KindleUnlimited!!

The paperback will be releasing soon. In anticipation of it, I’m offering another chance to win a free signed copy. To enter, all you have to do is sign-up for my newsletter before Friday. If you’ve already subscribed, you are automatically entered. I’ll pick a winner over the weekend!

SIGNUP HERE!!

Lots more exciting reveals are coming, friends. Thanks for following me on this journey so far. I am so greatly appreciative of all your support and encouragement.


Eléonore Dormant’s life is a precarious balancing act: librarian by day, demon hunter by night and single mother around the clock. Each day brings its challenges and she brings her A-game. It helps that coffee and a bottle of painkillers are always in supply.

For six years, she’s protected the streets of Montreal from all manner of demons and the consequent evil that they would wreak on her city. But even a resumé like hers isn’t enough to prepare her for the unforeseen night when she becomes the hunted.

A sorcerer, an enigmatic Elder, has placed a hefty bounty on her head and the demons are eager to claim the reward for her capture. They bear down on her, disrupting her mode de vie and endangering her son’s life all in one fell swoop. But Eléonore is ready to fight whatever Hell deigns to send her way to save him. The path she pursues will lead her to new places and old faces.

One thing is certain, Eléonore’s about to get into a whole hellhole of trouble.


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

SEPTEMBER 2017 (and a newsletter sign-up!)

Happy October friends!

How is it possible that September has already flown by? I smell conspiracy 😉

It’s been a busy September over here and I thought I’d share some of the more important updates with you!



NEWSLETTER

After months of thinking about it, I finally threw myself into creating a newsletter and I am excited to share the sign-up link with you today!! If you’d like extra teasers, features, giveaways and general bookish delights, you can sign up below!!

SIGN UP HERE!!!

FREELANCE SUCCESS

I also got my first real paid freelance gig, and it’s writing reviews. Getting paid to read. That’s the dream friends. It’s definitely not enough to convince me to quit my day job, but it’s something to add to my CV 🙂

One step at a time, friends, one step at a time!

HERALDING

This project is at the forefront of my mind at the moment! The publication date is fast approaching. Release, cover and blurb reveals coming this week, so eyes open! My editor is working through it right now and I’ll be looking for ARC readers soon 🙂

Also, I’m hoping to reveal the news about Heralding across the blogosphere so if you’d be willing to share the news with your followers, leave me a message below in the comments!

 

PLANS FOR NANOWRIMO ’17

Some of you who have been following me for a while might remember that I wrote 50k of a novel called The Desert Knight for last year’s NaNo. I haven’t touched it since, but I am planning to finish it for this year’s NaNo. Anyone else joining in the fun this November??

MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS:

HERITAGE: My YA fantasy about a fiddler and her grandmother which I’m slowly transforming into an MG one, because the narrative is better suited for a younger audience. A discover made better late than never 🙂

TPS: A novella inspired by a short story I’m currently submitting. It’s set in Victorian London and features ghosts! That’s all I’m saying 😉 I’m nearly done outlining and I’ll probably start on the first draft come December.

Destinies Entwined: A fairy tale retelling. I’m over halfway through the first draft. I hope to be done writing it by the end of the year.

Fairy Tale Musical: Untitled at the moment, but I’m working on the outline at the moment, and the narrative has taken on a life of its own! It’s really gotten me excited 😀



Okay, that’s all from me for the moment…

What are your plans for October, friends? Any new developments? I’d love to hear more about it 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

You Should Read This | February 2017

Hi friends,

See, the last few months I’ve spoken about coming back but then never did, so this time I decided to not announce my return, but just jump into it! Considering that this is my second post in one week, I say it was the best decision to make!

Action speaks louder than words, right friends 😉

Also, just want to thank everyone for the love. You are all amazing for standing by me during this long period of undependable me.

I am so grateful for your continued support. Truly!



Isle of Winds – James Fahy

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Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It is perfectly reminiscent of childhood classics such as Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter. The mythology and worldbuilding is rich and fills the pages, while the characters led by Robin Goodfellow make for an entertaining cast. Absolutely delightful and whimsical.

As a reader, it’s a delightful piece of escapism that echoes with humour and with heart. As a writer, it’s a lesson in enriching your story with myths and magic.

Shades of Magic Trilogy – V.E. Schwab

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(NOTE: I read the first book last year, but read 2 & 3 in February, so I’ll just talk about the trilogy as a whole)

Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It is a fantastic series that is consistently gripping and magical from start to finish. With a cast of unforgettable characters, it is fantastical adventure to inspire wanderlust. Lila Bard is one of the fiercest female characters you’ll encounter on the written page.

As a reader, it is page-turning series that ends on a satisfying note, while leaving you wanting so much more. As a writer, it is a lesson in crafting a solid series full of brilliant worldbuilding and engaging characters.




That’s all for February friends. Sorry for the shorter post!

Have you read any of the above books? Which book series do you hold in high esteem?

Stay well friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

You Should Read This | January 2017

Hi friends,

Can someone please tell me how it’s possible that today is September 25th. I’m fairly sure it was August when I went to bed yesterday… 🤔

It is still 2017 right?

So, today, I’m starting a new series that explores the best of the books I’ve read every month. I’m starting this late in the year, so I’ll be posting one for each I’ve missed every third day to get started.

Hope you find it entertaining and resourceful!


LITTLE WOMEN – LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

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Genre: Classic, Coming of Age

You Should Read This, Because… besides the fact that it is a classic, it’s also a wonderfully inspiring coming of age story about four sisters who endure life together. They bicker and argue as siblings do, but they also rely on one another for strength and courage as they are met by adversity and tragedy.

As a reader, it will touch upon a wide variety of emotions. As a writer, it’s a masterclass in writing characters with real feelings and reactions, and real life moments.

MARIANA – SUSANNA KEARSLEY

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Genre: Historical Romance, Supernatural

You Should Read This, Because… it’s a beautifully imagined romance that is vividly told through sweeping prose. One woman inhabits two lives when she moves to Greyweathers, and travels back and forth between her present life and her past self.

As a reader, it is a perfect read to get swept away into the seventeenth century, and a perfect recommendation for lovers of Outlander & Kate Morton. As a writer, it is a great lesson in writing vivid descriptions that draw readers not only into location, but time.

A MONSTER CALLS – PATRICK NESS

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… it will make you feel. There are certain books you read and you know that it’s one that the entire world would find worth reading because it captures the human experience so perfectly. This is one of those books. It reaches so many truths about human emotions and honestly explores the fear of loss.

As a reader, it is a perfect read for a cold night, to get cozy with and let your emotions flow. For a writer, it is a lesson in how to capture the human emotion with honesty and integrity.

THE BLUE SWORD (DAMAR #1) – ROBIN MCKINLEY

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Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This Because… it’s a classic fantasy adventure set in a sprawling desert location and features a formidable female protagonist. What more, it is written in mesmerizing prose that pulls you into the world and action and hooks you in.

As a reader, it is a short (considering it’s a fantasy novel) but fulfilling narrative for the escapist desires. As a writer, it is a lesson in world building and establishing gripping plots.

VICIOUS – V.E. SCHWAB

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Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… it is an excellently book that subverts the superhero trope and introduces a stellar cast of characters. It is also a masterful exploration of the grey area of morality and the dark side of ambition. Victor Vale is a complex character who jumps between moments of violent cruelty and tender compassion.

As a reader, it is a refreshing break from much of the same old same old of heroes and villains. As a writer, it is a lesson in crafting an antihero who is not without the potential of redemption.





That ends volume one of You Should Read This!

Have you read any of these books? Have they had the same impact on you? Less of one? More?

Stay well dear friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith    quill-ink

At the Halfway Mark | August 2017

Hi friends,

Here’s a new feature I’m hoping to keep up with on my blog moving forward to keep you all updated on how my monthly goals are going and to find out how yours are as well 🙂

So, let’s get to it…


WRITING:

Right now I’m sitting on news for Pirate Eyes. Pitch Wars results come out on the 24th. I haven’t gotten any requests for extra material yet, so I’m not keeping my hopes too high, but this isn’t a down point for me. If something comes of it, great! But if not, I’ll start querying agents again starting on the 25th.

I’m almost done a strong edit of the second draft of Heralding. A lot of things have changed through this edit, which is both exciting and frightening… But it’s all for the best 🙂

I’m planning a fuller post on my editing process, but I’ll just say now that I’ve taken a new approach this time around that’s really helped me nail down my issues.

I’ve also been working on a Christmas musical to put on at my church. I’ve outlined in and made a brief skeleton of songs and I hope to start writing it this week 😉

READING:

As always, I’ve set a monthly goal of five-six books. So far, I’ve read four.

A steampunk from Dana Fraedrich, called Out of the Shadows which was a highly entertaining read. (4/5)

An arc of KJ Chapman’s upcoming novella called Zombie Playlist which was a riotous, hilarious read that I got through in one sitting. Absolutely fantastic! (5/5)

I also binge-read This Savage Song & Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. This duology was absolutely wonderful. The worldbuilding, the characters, the thematic grappling of survival! So wonderful! Reminds me again why Schwab is one of my top five favourite authors. (5/5 for the duology!)

WATCHING:

I also have a monthly goal of watching four-five movies. So far I’ve watched three.

I watched Pride (2014) on Netflix. I have a fondness for films set in Britain and period pieces. The acting in this movie was wonderful and the directing was brilliant. A very touching and affecting film. (8.5/10)

I also watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople on Netflix. It’s my first Taika Waititi film and I adored it! The balance of humour and drama was fantastic. Sam Neill has been a favourite actor of mine since I saw him in Jurassic Park. He blew me away in this role! And Julian! I really do recommend this offbeat comedy! (10/10)

Last night, my mom, my sister, and I went to the movies to watch North by Northwest as part of our cinema’s classic event series (different one every month). It’s my third Hitchcock and I loved it! Cary Grant is such a suave actor. The storyline was solid too and the scene with the corn duster! Amazing that Hitchcock never won an Oscar for his directing! (9/10)


Alright, that’s all from me. Back to the edits!

Where are you with your goals, friends? How is August treating you?

Take care.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink