Edits

Editing is time consuming. Apparently I like the words “directly” and “suddenly.” Good news for me, punctuation is tight and my manuscript is more active than passive. Some changes, ok ok, many changes in the first four chapters. But it’s a task well worth the time. It’s what I’ve been up to lately. I needed a break so here I am to share an excerpt from one of my chapters. Since I’m in the process of editing it’s subject to change but here goes:

Liz got to her feet and steadied herself against the wall. Her dark blonde hair mangled, clothes twisted. Bill, Margaret, and George looked about the same, like they went through a twister.
“I can’t believe this,” Liz said as she looked around the room.
A second before a fierce fight between the serial killer and her ancestor abruptly ended, both apparitions disappeared, to where she had no idea.
George helped Margaret get to her feet, she more anxious than he to get to Liz. She dashed across the room excited.
“Liz, are you all right?”
She and Liz both looked around at what they expected to be a mess. Everything in the room, a war zone seconds before, was intact.
“We don’t need a séance now.” Margaret said with a wide grin.
“The clock, Margaret, did you hear the clock?” Liz asked.
“Hear it! My ears will ring for weeks!”
“Hey, everything… looks normal,” George said, scratching his head.
Bill laughed and said, “Everything except you three.”

Overall the story is dark. Some scenes aren’t meant for all readers. This is an example of me attempting to lighten things up to give the reader a break. The fight ended. The characters are excited but see how things are getting back to normal, from, “I can’t believe this,” to wide grins and laughs.
Yes I did notice the words like, twisted and twister. May change when I edit chapter six.
My manuscript needs work. I’ve decided not to rush the process. I’m concentrating on active vs passive, conciseness, word usage and well rounded characters. My goal, try not to drive the editor crazy. Not me. The real editor. I’m a self published author who has learned the hard way, editing matters.

Chapter Update

Liz Taber, the lone occupant of the colonial revival on a five acre wooded lot sat at her desk in the quiet space. Through the door behind her the living room echoed endless space.
Why didn’t you turn the lights on in there? You always set yourself up for the creeps.
She did and now she thought something or someone was on the other side of the doorway watching her. This is not the first time her hair has stood on the nape of her neck.
It will pass.
Stacks of papers and books were scattered all around her, a lone lamp on the floor to her right. The sixty-watt bulb faced a wall illuminating the family tree painted on the canvas from floor to ceiling. She heard a thump outside the window, and then a slow drag.
The wind.
She had been there for hours at her computer searching for clues. Another crash against the house, sounded like the deck furniture. Liz shot a glance at the window and grabbed the desk but kept her grip on the familiar oval-shaped mouse. She slid her index finger across the round surface, wet from her clammy palms and clicked on the database. She hoped to find her fifth generation grandmother.
The list of passengers on the ship California appeared on the monitor. A short list, maybe fifty names. Light from the lone lamp flickered. She searched for the surname Hay, and found one, Isabella. The light flickered again.
Not now.
She wanted to save the website to her favorites tab, but the computer’s hum went silent.
“Fine, just fine,” she sighed. “I’ll find her later.”
She pulled her robe across her shoulders and stood for a moment staring at her hand-painted family tree. The room brightened with each flash of lightning, exposing Isabella’s name. All her ancestors seemed to draw her in as she stood before them each night, but none as hypnotic as Isabella. The feeling of someone watching her from the darkness passed.
She closed the office door leaving her family tree on the other side and faced the living room. Lifeless, she thought as she paused and stared. A fire dwindled on the other side of the room. The nights alone in the large house got scarier with time and losing electrical power didn’t make living alone any easier.
She kindled the fire, poured herself a brandy, and sipped as she lay back on the cream-colored sofa. A tear trickled from the corner of her eye, like every other night. The memory of her husband’s death, the silent rage.
I can’t go back.
The storm continued through the night, the house quiet aside the howling wind outside. Liz lay fast asleep in the large room lit by the generous fire. Adjacent to the room, the home office door slowly opened. The spirit of a woman wearing a white dress eased into the room and sat in the chair, her eyes rested on Liz as she lay covered with her favorite throw.
Liz turned to her side and peeped at the empty chair. She blinked and took in a deep breath.
Go back to sleep, no ones there.
She drifted back into her dream, humming an unfamiliar tune.
The spirit of the woman rose from the chair and hummed the same tune. Her ghostly orb hovered above the wood plank floor and moved delicately across the fire lit room. She entered the home office where she reached her name on the family tree and disappeared.
Liz woke up and lifted her head from her pillow and immediately looked to the empty chair.
“Goodness,” she said aloud. “Get a grip.”
Through the curtains specks of dust floated about in the strands of light that reached across the living room leading into the kitchen. She gazed toward the granite countertop where her coffee pot sat empty. “You should have purchased the generator,” she told herself. She rose from the sofa and headed for the staircase. She passed her home office and saw the door wide open. She was sure she closed it tight. Liz stood at the doorway of the office and stared inside, the room now darker than the main room, her desk covered with notes unorganized and scattered not only on top of her desk but on the floor as well.
She moved around the piles of paper and opened the drapes exposing the daylight and when she spun around to face her office, the family tree shimmered. Liz swept her hair away from her eyes and smiled at her masterpiece. It was as if her ancestors reached from their graves and shined through the branches of painted names representing their place in time, their lives.
“Nice work Lizzie,” she gloated.
The truck’s tires rolled on wet pavement, a splash of water, and an annoying screech, “It’s time to get out of here,” she said. She sprinted up the stairs leaving the office door open. Inside, the branches of life on the family tree glistened as the fall leaves of the red maple outside the window slowly lifted upward as droplets of rainwater fell to the ground. A peaceful moment, but on the other side of the tree, across the long and narrow yard the electricians prepared to fix the broken link between their massive electrical plant and Liz’s house.
Randy Sullivan, a lifelong Rhode Islander, peered at the property. Not a large man, but his piercing eyes intimidated most people. He stood behind the truck and watched Liz leave the house.
“Perfect,” he sneered.
Liz powered her Honda CRV and gradually rolled out to the main road. Randy loathed her living alone just as his mother did when she left. He was twelve when he found his mother and begged her to let him come with her. “No,” she had said to him. “Your father will come searching for you, go away!” His rage over his mother festered until the day he killed her. Liz, he decided will be his next victim… of many. He had watched her for weeks after following her back from Norwich one Saturday. She was as she usually is alone and vulnerable.
He sucked on his teeth and hollered to Danny. “I’m going around back to check the lines.”
“Watch for dogs,” said Danny. Randy glimpsed back at him and snickered at the way he struggled to get the toolbox open.
“That ought to keep him busy,” he said.
He worked his way around the back of the house peeking into each window until he reached the open back door. “Ah, Ms. Taber, you’re slipping,” he whispered, and entered through the kitchen.
It was eerie, the silence. The refrigerator, clocks, the creaks in the flooring was void of sound. He told himself to turn around, go back.
Underneath the aroma of flowers from a vase nearby he caught the scent of paper, mounds of must and ink, and beyond that the familiar stench of death.
The office door moved with a vexing creak, without support or reason. The door continued to creak as it closed off the small room. The sound of each creak louder than the one before, creak, creak, creak, until the walls vibrated and suddenly the door stopped. Randy just stood still, legs shaking.
“This isn’t possible,” he said.
He finally turned to run like hell and as he did, the door swung wide open. He glanced back in enough time to notice the door didn’t recoil, as if someone or something held it against the wall. He begged his legs to move as he stood staring. The door slammed shut. He sped out the back door, turned the corner and saw Danny by the utility truck. Run, run, he repeated in his mind until he finally gained his voice back and screamed at Danny, “Let’s go!”
Danny had a big smile on his face as he watched Randy run toward him, he asked, “What’s wrong? Did you find the dog?”
“Get in the truck!” Randy screamed.
As he ran to the truck a man stood over in the tree line. He wore gray slacks pulled high up to his waist, and a jacket cut at the hip. Randy knew from his attire he wasn’t from this time or this world because he seemed… he’s a damn ghost!
He screamed again, “You dumbass get in the truck!” He rushed Danny, and in one swoop shoved him in the truck and pushed him over to the passenger seat. Randy looked back at the house and over to the tree line, he saw nothing but felt imminent danger as he spun the wheels of the truck leaving a ladder behind splattered with mud.
Back in the house, in the small office, Ed Taber’s hand painted name glowed until it faded next to his wife’s name, Isabella Hay, on Liz’s family tree. The whispers between the couple ensued, “Where were you Ed?” Isabella asked. “I was in the field Isabella.” The lights came on, the clock ticked, and the back door closed.
A few miles away Liz continued her drive until she reached the town of Norwich. She rolled the car window down and took a deep breath. The Thames River to her left reminded her of her research and the passages she read about the settlement of Norwich. She thought of the Church family, and having seen gravestones with the name Church on the same site as her ancestors, she wondered if there were connections. She would have to do the research she thought and grinned as she told herself, why not, it is possible she’s a descendant of someone who corresponded with the enemy. After all, she did have an ancestor who spied for the Confederates during the Civil War. She asked herself what compelled them to do such things.
She burst out with a nervous giggle, “Shoot Lizzie what compelled you to leave Virginia.”
As much as she tried to forget her husband’s awful crimes, his pedophile acts revealed to her closes friends and neighbors as he lay on his deathbed haunted her to this day.
The rushing water of the Thames River headed for the Long Island Sound. Liz headed for the coffee shop on Main Street. She parked and began her walk in the past. The town of Norwich never disappointed as it is rich with history. She bumped shoulders with a young lad and said, “Excuse me.” He mumbled something and scurried on disappearing into the distance. She didn’t notice as she continued to walk down the uneven pathway. That he faded away. Nor did she see the ghost of many integrated with the living in clothing from another period. Nevertheless, they were there.

Back to Work

http://thebookmarketingnetwork.com/profile/TheresaSimpson

I’ve just boasted about my editor Diane Reynolds. She reviewed my first five chapters of the Thrust, edited and returned it for my review. I posed a question for anyone who wishes to share. Do you have an editor you’d love to to brag about? How well does that person work with you? I love being able to send five chapters for review myself that way I can move on with the story which by the way is at chapter seven. Though illness put me behind I feel rejuvenated and a late March early April release date is still planned. Oh how I love the thought of another title published 🙂

The Thrust

My next novel The Thrust is in the works, my being new to indi publishing required some learning, well a lot of learning actually. It’s all good, reaching specifications on Amazon and  CreateSpace was certainly a task though.  I’ve found an editor. She reads everything about crime, action, suspense, etc. She has edited my novel The Tug, and being she’s an avid reader when she told me The Tug kept her turning pages I was thrilled. Pressure about The Thrust-No. Excited is more like it.

The Thrust is a sequel to the The Tug, MC Macon has turned into a monster himself but it’s all for Anna, and he purposely placed himself back in jail…I know unheard of…. Who would do such a thing? It’s complicated and the only way to fathom the idea is to dive into Macon’s world. He was torn in the Tug but in The Thrust he’s a powerhouse and he’s dangerous. All he wanted was a simple life, but they destroyed his dreams, and he’s back for revenge.

And so I have been absent of late, failing to post, forgive me. Fulltime jailors work, family, learning how to self publish, ancestry search/post, shopping, cleaning, reading, etc., held me hostage. Not that I’ve been totally absent from WordPress…I’ve been reading blogs, very helpful blogs at that! I close this post with a big Thank You!

Pulled Away

I managed to complete 39,576 words for the NaNoWriMo count. Six days left to complete my draft. I’m now a little over a day behind and am hoping for some time alone. It will be tough.

However, the pressure of it all has induced some creativity. My story has some new twist that keeps it interesting. I’m happy with the pressured results I’m creating. I hope all you Wrimo’s are doing well too!

I know where my story must end. My original idea for this draft came to me pretty fast and I have kept it alive through all these pages, 102 now. When I read the draft in it’s finshed state I hope it is at least a little like I have seen it in my warped head. There will be improvements made I know but I feel the story itself is good enough to work on the editing and polish it to a well written and interesting tale.

Well, as you might expect I’m off shopping with the teen who’s about to wake and I should be ready or suffer the consequences.

Never, ever, give up!

Fallin Slightly Behind

My cold from last week caught up with me. I worked throught it daily, refusing to let it get the best of me during the week. How feeble I must be. Over the weekend I was tired and decided to sleep in late.  So my early morning writing time didn’t happen. I’m not too far behind, 33,373 words puts me just a day, or 1667 words behind. This weekend I’ll catch up. I’m off work for four days!

Macon, my main character has reached out for help. He can no longer carry the burden if he is to save Anna, and I have no idea where to go from here.  There I said it. It’s complicated.

10 days remaining! I am excited for everyone who has met this NaNoWriMo challenge!

If there’s anything I’ve learned during this process it is my weakneses, in writing that is. I’ll figure it out when I read the story. But something is amiss. I have 16,627 words left to complete the challnege and goodness there’s no time now to rewrite anything! So I’ll roll with it.

So to all you Wrimo’s out there, don’t worry about your story just yet. Fight every urge you have to go back and fix anything. Focus on getting to the end and edit later. 50,000 words in 30 days is a lot of imagination at work! Any rewrites will be better handled after a small break! At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Hooray!

Looking Ahead

It seems every morning I need almost an hour to wake up and get the words flowing. 13,346 words behind me and chapter 9 about to begin and my thoughts are in editing.

I know I should leave it alone. But it dawned on me my story isn’t bad and when I complete the 50,000 words all that’s left is some editing, mainly revisiting each chapter and rewording/adding some flare.

Ok that may take another month, too bad NaNoWriMo doesn’t have that challenge for December with some workshop links cause I’m going to need them.

Another blogger just posted some free books for writers that can be downloaded from Readers Digest, and there I found workshops that I think I may look into after November 30th. Thanks for the tip!

A clear set up has happened to my main character Macon, but he hasn’t quite figured that one out yet, and he certainly doesn’t know the truth behind all that’s happened to him. Macon has just received more time in jail. He’s so upset and angry right now he isn’t even aware that there’s a puzzle to piece to together let alone figuring out which pieces fit and how dangerous they become. But he is asking “why” guess that’s a start.

Time’s a waisting and I should return to Macon, though I don’t think he’ll care that I’m there right now. Todays goal is to reach 15,012 words. Progress, and a little pride that goes with it. Though I think mood setting is an area I need to work on in my novel. There’s that editing trying to sneak back in. Please, please go away.

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