Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Works in the Mill
Every writer I know has multiple works in the mill. We are, at the very least, dividing our time between revising one manuscript and drafting a new one. I’m no exception. Don’t misunderstand. I am not describing myself as a multi-tasker. In fact, I’m not convinced those people really exist. I can move from one project to another, but I cannot work on all projects simultaneously.
To give you an idea of my current “works in the mill,” check out the following. It is a glimpse at my typical day.
WRITING EXERCISE: My current exercise is an assignment I received from Standard Publishing. I’ve been asked to read a Bible lesson/commentary written by someone else and create discussion questions for the lesson. It is a merging of my education background and writing skills. Trust me, it takes time and effort to produce questions that are not ambiguous and yet not so detailed as to merit a simple yes or no answer. There’s no discussion in those types of questions. The exercise is honing my skills to make every word count. Exercising your writing in challenging new ways is important to learning your craft. Click to see Gym Shoes, Leotards, and Ball Point Pens.
REVISING AND EDITING: My next order of business is addressing the revision and editing needs of a completed manuscript. You may recall the story I wrote about a young woman who purchases a coffee shop in Door County, Wisconsin. It’s been a while. I pulled it out a few weeks ago to add a bit of polish to the work before I pitch it to a publisher or agent. My way of accomplishing that is to print a hard copy and go through it with a pen in hand. I then return to the digital copy to make needed changes. I edit/revise about twenty to thirty pages in one sitting. I’m always surprised at how many changes I really need to a work I thought was finished! Wow! Do not discount the value of ongoing editing. And never say never to using a professional editor. Check out Editors are Like Plumbers or TheUseless, Broken, and Random for more on editing. And remember to show, don’t tell. I find myself slipping into that format often. It is my greatest revising need. Here is a post by Michelle Levigne I read often to remind me what I need to do. It’s called Screenwriting for Novelists.
I’m up to about 10:00 am by now. The original Perry Mason series is on MeTV so I call that “Break Time.”
BLOG- A NOVEL CREATION: Before lunch, I have time to work on my blog. It isn’t merely cranking out text for Wednesday. I try to map my posts on a calendar so they are meaningful and have been researched long before I reach the due date. I also try to have at least one guest, review, or interview each month so you don’t tire of hearing from me. If you are interested in blogging, check out Bumfuzzled Blogging. It is one of my most popular posts.
WIP: After lunch, I’ll spend the next few hours on my new Work In Progress. I’m currently working on a suspense/romance novel I refer to as “Quiet.” It’s a working title. I am stretching myself as a writer in several ways. First, although I love suspense, I’ve never written in that genre. In addition, I am writing from three points of view: the male protagonist, female protagonist, and the antagonist. Finally, I am writing with the anticipation of this being one of a series. It’s a growing experience. In preparing for this work, I had suspense writer Lillian Duncan create a guest post on my blog last November. Her insights are great. You can read The ABC’s of Suspense and Mystery Writing or check out her books at www.lillianduncan.net.
Of course I must include a bit of social media in each day. I enjoy the personal Facebook pages and Tweets as most people do but, as a writer, I have to also think about my “author platform.” That means posting on my author page frequently and connecting with readers on Twitter. My daughter wants me to set up an Instagram account…but when? I’m busy keeping all of these balls in the air during my “work day.”
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