Tag Archives: editing

Blue-pencil Time

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Blue-pencil Time

So many of us here, who follow each other’s blogs, are writers who want to publish. Others are writers who just want a place to express, create, share and sometimes just vent.

I’m both. I’ve enjoyed times here when I’ve been very active on WordPress. I’ve taken breaks and focused more on other things, including personal writing. Around 2010, a concept for a novel twinkled my eye. I set out on the journey, and the journey took so many more years than anticipated. But folks, it’s almost ready!

With only a couple of chapters left of the first draft, this thing is a monster! If I were to format it for your basic paperback, it would be nearly a thousand pages. That’s too big! Who wants to read a book that thick? I usually won’t. So, soon I’ll approach blue-pencil time. Time to edit. Cut. Rearrange. Re-phrase. Clean it up.

I’m turning to you, my fellow bloggers and readers. How have you managed parting with your treasured paragraphs? How have you ensured your books are concise and on point, while also richly laced with delights for the senses? Have you paid beta-readers? Have you paid editors? Do you have family who can be that honest with you about what needs to change? How soon before publishing did you start your pre-release marketing strategies?

Please tell me your experiences rather than your advice. That’s what I’m after. Thanks for following, and thanks for sharing your comments and experiences!

Typing away,

Joan T. Warren

Developing a Mission Statement for Fiction Novel

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You can help me decide! Here are a few shorter sentences that I’m developing to help guide revision of the upcoming novel, The Bent Tree Path. Here’s your chance to weigh in! Add, subtract, edit, suggest, negate. . . be involved.

A mission statement for a fiction novel helps the self-editing process. It serves as a filter to revise each scene and chapter: if they don’t significantly support the mission, they don’t belong.

The original mission statement draft, shared last week, was nearly the size of one of Ernest Hemingway’s paragraphs! Now it’s time to simplify. Which of these do you like the best?

  1. Interplay stories of ancestral history with modern life to highlight the importance of, and a pathway toward, healthy relationships with God, self, others, and the earth.
  2. Reveal the secrets of generations of women who grew stronger as they overcame oppression and abuse.
  3. Create a path for future generations to find their way through challenges.
  4. Show how generations effect one another; each personal choice bearing on future generations.

I’d love to hear from you!

Joan T. Warren