Checking Your Own [Writing]

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

Writing a novel (or anything, for that matter) is quite a lot of work. There are quite a few “rules” and “styles” of English that ultimately become the choice of the author/editor/publishing house, with the key to “correctness” being consistency. Whether  you choose to employ a serial comma is up to you, but do it consistently throughout. Whether you choose to put a character’s thoughts in italics, single quotations, or leave them to be inferred by the reader, do it consistently.

But what about things like names of people and places? Especially if you’ve made them up? I’ve worked on several projects where a person or place’s name has changed throughout. Here’s my solution. Choose which one is “correct.” Do a search and find for any other alternatives that might have turned up. Make sure they are consistent.

You may also want to do the same for commonly misspelled/misused words and words that you know you have a tendency to overuse.

Remember, an editor should catch these things, but the cleaner the manuscript you send to an editor, the more they can focus on catching the bigger problems (check out #4 on this list from Katie McCoach, and read the rest of it, too).

Have you ever found an inconsistency such as these in your own works? How did you go about correcting it?

This Week’s Five!!!

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Here are five good things from the past week:

  1. I’ve been trying to alter my eating/(non-existent)fitness habits for a healthier lifestyle. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I’m feeling better about myself than I have in a while.
  2. Received some good news that I may share more about in the next few days (or weeks).
  3. I made a homemade tomato sauce for the first time, and used it on a homemade pizza. It was good!
  4. I’m looking forward to spending time with family this weekend.
  5. I got to watch an impressive storm roll in a few nights ago.

So, how was your week?

Review – The Long Way Home by Regina West

The Long Way Home by Regina West was one of my #RockMyTBR reads.

18336784Twilah Dunn has it all—an exciting life in Los Angeles and a thriving ad agency she owns with her fiancé. Then she learns that her estranged father has died and her business partner is sleeping with her best friend. In one day, her perfect life unravels, and the city she calls home is now anything but.

She returns to her hometown in North Carolina determined to sell her father’s horse farm in order to buy back her business from her cheating fiancé. But when she sees the farm’s dilapidated state, she can’t bear the thought of selling it that way. Against all reason, she puts her fast-paced, metropolitan life on hold and hires local cowboy Aidan Perry to help restore the farm to its former glory. She’s heard the rumors of his dark past, and she’s wary of mixing business with pleasure—again. But soon she can’t keep her mind, or her hands, off of him.

Can Twilah push through her fear and love Aidan? Will his past prove too dangerous? Has she really left LA behind or will it continue to haunt her? For some the path is straight and narrow, but others take The Long Way Home. (Goodreads)

I give The Long Way Home 4 out of 5 stars!

I really appreciated that this book had a full cast of characters, and did not solely tell the story of Twilah and Aidan.

The setting felt like coming home. I grew up in a town where everyone was cousins and everyone knew everything about you.

The book felt like a long read (as in I had to read it over multiple days) but there were only a couple of places where I started to think it felt slow, and then it picked up immediately, so pacing wasn’t really an issue.

I enjoyed the little details about the repairs Twilah and Aidan were making. I loved how they tried to ignore the tension between them, making them act uninterested in one another. And I love that they didn’t jump at each other the first moment they could.

While I wanted to slap Twilah for the thoughts she gave Bradley, they were totally realistic of what someone might do. I also thought meeting Victoria seemed strange, I would have never trusted someone like that, but for her the story worked.

The Long Way Home shows how difficult it can be to overcome the shadows of the past, to learn to trust, and to forgive. It was an enjoyable read I’m glad I took the time on.

 

 

This Week’s Five!!!

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This week was Spring Break, so it was filled with general happiness and fun.

  1. Hubby and I celebrated 7 years of marriage this week!
  2. Zootopia was a pretty cute movie. ++ MOVIE THEATER POPCORN=HEAVEN!
  3. I started making smoothies with my new blender, so far so good.
  4. Bright blue toenails!
  5. I made homemade tortillas and “pop tarts” this week. The tortillas were right in the taste, but not quite the texture or shape they should have been. The pop tarts were amazing! But the problem, I realized, is they are just miniature pies. I have a weakness for pie. So I’m happy!

So, how was your week?

Review – Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I was on hold for Cinder by Marissa Meyer on my library’s Overdrive for what felt like forever. I was nervous though. The last few books I’ve read have failed to entertain me thoroughly, leaving me leery of YA and and worried this book would be the final strike before I found myself needing a break. But, with all the glowing reviews and recommendations by friends, I decided I needed to give it a try. Oh boy, am I glad I did!

12973964Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. (Goodreads)

I give Cinder by Marissa Meyer out of 5 stars!

Now, some logical part of me is over here saying, “shouldn’t that be 4?” My answer? “No, because I enjoyed the book on a level of 5 stars!

I also have a confession: once I put a book on my TBR/kindle, I don’t usually read the synopsis again before starting to read it. Maybe I should, so I know what I’m getting myself into, but usually I have at least some vague idea. The fact that the story started with Cinder removing her foot was quite a shock! And it hooked me.

I haven’t read many retellings, they aren’t something I seek out. But I enjoyed this one immensely! I also enjoyed how there were mentions of other stories in it, and one that I remember was a reference to Romeo & Juliet, and I thought it was funny that an oft-used premise was mentioned in a book that was, in fact, a retelling of another popular story. I enjoyed how, instead of having two evil stepsisters, only one was really evil, and the other was Cinder’s friend.

I also really enjoyed the setting. Having read Marie Lu’s Legend recently, one might think the similarities (screens everywhere, plague, the dirty/crowded markets) would have been a turn-off for me, especially given that I didn’t find Legend especially enjoyable. However, Meyer’s ability to weave the story made those elements feel natural and interesting in Cinder, making for a read that once I started, I didn’t put down until I finished it (at 2AM). The screens everywhere, for example, felt much more natural in a world partially inhabited by cyborgs and androids. The plague was a constant source of motivation for the characters, and the market felt timelessly real.

Oh and Cinder herself! I really liked her. I liked the conflict she had with being able to feel emotion but not to cry, with wanting her autonomy and the frustration that technically she was property. I liked that, although she liked Kaito, she didn’t turn into a pile of mush and lose her goals because he smiled at her.

I liked the other characters, too. I loved Iko. She had quite the “personality.” Even Adri, the evil stepmother, seemed to have more going on than Cinder ever really got to see. Sure, she was evil and all, but I didn’t feel like she was a flat evil, if you know what I mean.

OH! And I really enjoyed the added aspect of the Lunars. I liked how obviously there must be more than the public’s notions of the greedy, evil Lunars, and I’m curious to read more about them.

I enjoyed the history, the politics, and the secrets.

Overall this was just a fun, fun read for me that I enjoyed so much! I’m looking forward to reading Scarlet, but there are 4 people ahead of me on the list.

Like many others, I had this story figured out pretty close to the beginning. I understand this can be a major dislike for some readers, but it makes things fun for me. I like to see if I was right. I like to watch the pieces fall into place. I like to take the journey, I’m not solely concerned about the destination. It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about a book I read, and I’m glad my turn finally came for Cinder.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My Spring TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Books On My Spring TBR

  1. Hello? by Liza Weimer
  2. The Maenad of Manhattan by Liz Meldon
  3. The Rise of the Discordant books 1, 2, and 3 by Christina McMullen
  4. Magic-Price by C.L. Schneider
  5. Second Position by Katherine Locke

And since I’m behind on the #RockMyTBR challenge, the last three go towards it.

  1. Relentless by Karen Lynch
  2. Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles
  3. The In-Betweener by Ann Christy

This Week’s Five!!!

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Oops, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these! Here are five good things from the past week (or so):

  1. I am REALLY enjoying my gardening project. I’m blogging/vlogging the progress, I hope you’ll check it out!
  2. IT IS SPRING BREAK, BABY! As a teacher’s wife, this is very exciting!
  3. After several unsatisfying books, I’m happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Cinder by Marissa Meyer, review to come this week.
  4. It has rained all week. I’m looking forward to some sunshine, due tomorrow.
  5. I loved The Island by S. Usher Evans. Request it on NetGalley or pre-order it now! I mean now! Oh, and I’ve seen a draft of The Chasm. You need to start preparing now. Stockpile the comfort foods and things you can throw across the room. (This has been my other exception to less-than-satisfactory books this year.)

So, how was your week?

[Writing] Dialogue – The Basic Mechanics

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

I have previously admitted to having some issues with dialogue, and I thought it would be useful to have all my reminders in the same place, so why not share those with you? My problem mostly comes with capitalization, and it gets tiring to keep looking these up. Frankly, while there are some sites I like, I don’t like having to sort through a bunch of places to find what I’m looking for. Continue reading “[Writing] Dialogue – The Basic Mechanics”