I have hit the wall (again) with this journey. It is bound to happen. This isn’t an easy thing to do. Yes, yes, I could easily self-publish and be done. My stories would be out there, but I want my stories to be must reads, not just good. I want someone out there to stay up until 2 in the morning reading it because they just could not put it down even though they have to be up early for work…

Reality says that won’t happen, but I’m trying.

And yes, I have read some excellent self-pubbed books. You can tell that they put the time in and had a great story to work with. However, several have been meh at best. They really needed to spend extra time on them, gotten more feedback, and edit the typos and grammar better. That’s what I’m trying to do. And yes it is possible they won’t be perfect and/or not everyone will enjoy them, but I’m trying to make them as good as possible before publishing.

As part of that process, last month I had Mandy’s Story professionally edited. I got great feedback. Things I kind of already knew but didn’t really know (if that makes sense). Let me explain. I knew there were issues, but needed someone to draw me a map so to speak. Fix it here, here, here and stop doing this, this and that.

I love it and hate it at the same time. Why? Because, again while I knew there were issues, like duplication of themes, speech, thoughts, I didn’t think that I did a bad job of character development for explain or getting the point of the story across, but clearly I did.

I intentionally didn’t talk about the character descriptions to leave it up to the reader to form what they thought. I mean clearly the few main characters in this story are white (except Mandy but we won’t know that her father is Mexican until book 2)… However, in my mind/World of my fictional town, there are many characters that have diverse backgrounds. Just that in the current book, Mandy’s World is rather small and again, I didn’t describe any of the secondary characters. I see many of them as POC.

Glenn Lake is a fictional place that geographical is near Houston, Texas which obviously is a real place and my hometown. One of my favorite things about Houston is the diverse. I love people who are different, unusual, not afraid to be who they are. I love learning about different cultures.

However, I clearly missed that boat when writing this so one of my major fixes is to show the audience better what I see this town to be. A small town with loads of interesting, diverse people from different walks of life. My challenge is not making it so in your face and forced because nobody likes to read forced.

However, the main focus of the Glenn Lake series is women. The many journeys they take, strength of character, and in some cases love. Mandy finds love in her story, but the biggest lesson is learning to be strong and stand on her own.

But I understand the feedback and accept it. I’m taking it seriously but I just reached my breaking point (for a minute… or a couple of weeks). I was ready to throw the entire series out and just focus on my other projects.

The thing that stopped me is that the editor did say there is potential in my story, that it is almost there, but I just need to fix these things and be more clear. Got it. Doing it… hitting my head on the wall here and there, but just like many of my characters, I’m a fighter and have always fought for what I want. I have done many things that I’ve been told I couldn’t do or were impossible.

So stay tuned. I hope in the next few months to be saying Mandy’s story is available. (Maybe March?)

As always thanks for your support.

Editing, editing and more editing

This is my life at the moment as I have recently decided to self-publish and I know my stories aren’t quite ready. I have tons of work to do to get them ready.

Mandy’s story (new name coming soon) is with an editor and I’m working on Mama’s/Becca’s story now. It is a hot mess but I’ll get it worked through and ready for the editor as well.

I have mock ups of what I think the covers will look like (or at least my idea) for both Mandy’s and Premedicated Murder. Nothing final on those yet, just a start.

So what does editing mean exactly? It means not only proofreading, but ensuring the story makes sense. Is the pacing appropriate, not too fast or too slow? Are there holes in the plot? Is it all in the same tense (my biggest issue)?

That is in addition to proofreading so needless to say I’m swamped with getting these together and ready to publish hopefully early in next year.

This blog comes in second to that for now and so I will write a few blog posts in a day to be scheduled out… and there might be gaps in those that don’t make sense, but I’ll be around and working towards my goal.

As always, thanks for your support and stay tuned!

Dialogue vs Conversation

As any good wannabe writer should while researching agents, I read the entire site. This is so I can learn about what they are looking for and if I think I could fit with them. Often, they will have tips and tricks to make your manuscript better, to smooth out your query letter and just in general grammar and writing pointers from people who have seen it all and know the process.

I ran across one last night that talked about dialogue vs conversation. I hate to disagree with a professional, considering I haven’t even been signed or published, I am an avid reader and as a fan, I know what I like.

Dialogue and conversation seem to be the same thing. Both things spoken by the characters. The difference, as noted on the site I was reading, is that dialogue moves the story along while conversation does not. Therefore, conversations should be cut in favor of only dialogue.

While I agree with cutting anything that doesn’t move the story along, I also feel like conversation CAN add and build to the story, even if not directly. Sometimes the simplest conversations over coffee, small talk, can show you who a character is and what they are made of. In my opinion that is still moving the story along.

I tend to put small talk in my stories because I believe it makes my characters believable and real. Life is conversations and not just dialogue. It is those small things that build and become the story, not just the conflicts and big picture things.

However, I am taking to heart what the pros say. I just need to find my own pace and my own style with balancing their pointers and expertise.