Have a project that needs editing? Don’t panic. Read this first..

A big thanks to author and editor, Steve Soderquist for his time in sharing several invaluable tips for writers of every kind.  Read his answers to the five questions I posed to him and then check out his book to help you with even more invaluable advice for your own manuscripts.

Steve Soderquist Author picture

  1. For most authors, the word ‘editing’ elicits a fight or flight pattern, most preferring to flee. Why did you bravely decide to tackle this field?

I believe everyone–not just writers–carry the burden of uncertainty when it comes to the English language. Writers tend to feel this more intensely as the pressure is high to produce written work that hopefully, folks will like. It’s important to note a well-written manuscript isn’t the same as a well-told story. The difference is, when the work is ‘clean’ and is as free of grammatical and punctuation errors as possible, it allows the reader and/or acquisition editor to see the story that much clearer. Average stories still sell, and at times very well, however, badly written stories are much rarer.

The reason I got into editing was my love of the language. I found I had an almost idiot savants understanding for the rules that govern English and for me, the hardest part was understanding why I understood what I did. I say ‘almost,’ as no one is born with the ability to know what a dangling participle means or why two of them shouldn’t be back-to-back, but when I look at it, (and many other rules) they seem to jump out at me, and my fingers do the rest when correcting. This didn’t come to me when I attended school, but much later in life. In my high school years, I got below-average marks in English, but loved to read. As a fact, the first few times I even attempted to write short stories were a complete mess. The actual ‘when’ it all came together is a bit fuzzy, but I remember having an urge to learn what made English tick, and soon found myself devouring every rule and grammar book from William Strunk and E.B. White’s ‘The Elements of Style’ to Stephen King’s ‘On Writing.’ I was fascinated with the way words, in certain positions in a sentence, could change the very tone and inflection of the meaning of that sentence, and thus, the story itself. Most writers tackle manuscripts in a linear time-frame, and I spent a large part of my learning time studying the nuances of reflection in the prose and tense as the feature. I began to understand that while we live in a linear world, our minds are forever moving either backward in reflection or forward in expectation. This enables me to help a writer greatly in rounding out their characters in situations when things get perhaps wooden, or boring, or lost, or a combination of those and many others. The bottom line is, I edit because every manuscript to me is a puzzle, and helping a writer achieve the best of their story is extremely pleasurable.

2. What is the hardest part about editing a manuscript?

I would have to say the tedious act of correcting easy-to-know punctuation rules. Every writer should have a strong grasp of basic English 101, and if not, take the time to study and learn. As I mentioned, proper English isn’t something anyone is born with, it’s a skill that needs to be honed. The basic elements need to be in place if a writer ever hopes to be published by a traditional publishing company, and if independently publishing, I always hope the author did their due diligence before uploading their files. I won’t go into all, or even a few of the basics, but do note that when they aren’t there, they stick out like a sore thumb to the reader. One doesn’t have to hold a degree in English to know when something is off. We spent our whole lives reading as we grow up, and most of what we’ve read has been properly proofed and edited, especially if it was for sale. We get used to reading correctly, so when it isn’t, even though a reader may not know that comma should be there in that compound sentence, you can bet a paycheck it will still read wrong to him or her.

3. Most publishers require authors to ‘tighten up their manuscript’ by doing their own self-editing.  With this in mind, what would you recommend a new author do first?

Read it out loud. Nothing will help a writer catch their own mistakes in a more clear and definitive way than simply doing this. Check for inconsistencies in time-lines, plot-holes, names, dates; avoid the deus ex machina whenever possible, and research, research, research! We live in a world that has Google now, so there is never a reason for the alerion of an airplane to ever be called, ‘that flappy-thingy.’
I’ve told many writers and still do, “Edit until you just about hate the thing.” Also, ironically, don’t fully trust an editor to catch every mistake. I mean that, too. We’re human, just like you, and we make mistakes. The difference is, that’s your name on the cover…not the editor. So when you get that final copy back to read over, actually read it, don’t just blow through it. Once it’s in print or ebook, whether you pull it back to make corrections or not, (which looks very unprofessional) those initial copies are still out there. Be diligent, patient and get the job done right the first time.

4. What is one ‘rule of thumb’ to always remember when editing?

Never assume you’re right if you feel that little tickle in the back of your mind that something is off. Double-check it for accuracy and correctness.

5. What is the most common editing blunder you’ve found when editing an author’s work?

That’s a good question but hard to pin down, as every writer has their own unique style and flow of writing. Each manuscript I’ve worked on is as individual as the writer themselves. No two have ever been alike. All that being said, the most common error I run into is punctuation, such as putting a period at the end of a terminal sentence in dialog that proceeds an incomplete past participle, as in:
“We have to leave now.” Jane said.

I won’t go into a lesson, but if you read that sentence and don’t see a problem, please go over the basics of English.

Thanks for the opportunity to share! My email is always open, and I hope to see all of you out there in print. Stay upbeat and focused!

Peace

Where to find me:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steve.soderquist.3
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SteveSoderquistAuthor/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/stevesoderquist
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6626657.Steve_Soderquist
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116546158818053309346
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skirascal – @skirascal
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevesoderquist/
Email: https://steves@foundationsbooks.net
Website: http://www.SteveSoderquist.com/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV55b1YWTrqw5ihuBMBfcnw
Foundations: https://www.FoundationsBooks.net
For my book, ‘Practical Tips for Every Author,’ please visit:

Steve Soderquist_Book Cover

 

 

Brand new PNR Available now!

Hi Readers,

I am happy to announce Shifter Shorts is Live!  Grab your copy today, from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R1Q6HGT

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07R1Q6HGT

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07R1Q6HGT

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07R1Q6HGT

 

Love shape shifters? These whimsical tales are sure to captivate!

Six stories in one amazing book.

All shape shifter paranormal romances waiting to entertain you!

 

Elorah can’t seem to shake Rowan’s amorous advances. In their cat and mouse game, there is no question who has the advantage.

The statue atop the bank building fascinated Terra from day one. But was it truly inanimate or was it alive?

Lorena awakens to a room in Hell but when the alpha Hellhound announces she belongs to him, can she escape his watchful eye?

A unique mix of two species, Draco seeks more from his best friend, Esma. He will stop at nothing to prove to her she is the one.

Jax howls for his delectable Harlot- Ivy- but pursuing her is too dangerous for both of them.

Walker seeks forever with the gorgeous scuba diver; however, instead of treading water, she is swimming away.

Shifter Shorts Ad Banner1

 

The incredible Christine King**

Hi Readers,

I met an author recently and I am so excited to share some info. with you about her.

She has just signed on with Foundations Publishing, LLC (an amazing Indie Publisher) and she will be writing  a series of six children’s books with Foundation books in July, with her nine year old daughter as co author.  Yes, you read that right- her nine year old daughter.  Isn’t that amazing!

~*~ In the meantime, check out my Interview with her and more about Christine on her website ~*~

http://christinekingauthor.wixsite.com/mysite

 

** 1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

I guess my new book will be my favourite, it is due out in July and called ‘Gem masters and the search for the unicorns tears.’ I love it as I wrote it and its sequels with my nine year old daughter. It is a fantasy story with a strong female lead, which is important to me as I want my daughter to have positive role models to follow that are her age and her gender. Keep watching Foundation books website for updates.

 

** 2. Writing is a difficult endeavor. What makes you continue to write?

I love it, writing with my daughter has been a new and exciting experience. The ideas in my  head need to be written down or else those stories and those characters are gone forever.

 

** 3. What do you look forward to every day?

Being alive, every day is a gift. I try to remind myself every day that I am a miracle, we are all miracles. Every one of us has beat the odds and are lucky to have been given this chance to live, we shouldn’t waste it.

 

** 4. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

I hope one day to be a successful writer, it would be lovely to have a few best selling books, but I feel I am a success in other areas. I juggle my responsibilities and I am proud of my husband, my daughter and my life. I am happy and I have a wonderful life, that is success.

** 5. Any tips for a newbie writer?

Keep writing. Listen to feedback, develop and grow. Don’t give up, be positive and just keep writing.

 

The amazing TJ Penn

Hi Readers,

Do you love horror?  How about a story with elements of horror- just enough to make your spine tingle?

Well, I had the recent honor of interviewing Author TJ Penn.  Check out my interview with her, here and then take a look at her featured book.

TJ Penn Author Picture

** 1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

Halcyon College would be my choice. It’s a horror in a way. I love horror be it movies or books. I was working on an anthology story when I seen a picture of this college. Needless to say I stopped the other story and Halcyon College was born. It was one of those stories that wrote itself.

 

** 2. Writing is a difficult endeavor.  What makes you continue to write?

For me it’s an escape in away. I get to live in the worlds that are in my head for a little while and maybe I can help someone else escape for a little while.

 

** 3. What do you look forward to every day?

I would say I look forward to different things each day. Some days it’s getting time to write, others it may be going to eat lunch with my best friend.

 

** 4. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

How I see success is most likely different from everyone else. I don’t see success in money or being a best seller. I would love to have a best seller but I don’t believe you have to have one to call yourself successful.. I call it a success when an author has the guts to hit that publish button. I also call it a success just sitting down and seeing a story through to the end.

 

** 5. Any tips for a newbie writer?

Write every day. I don’t care if it’s a list of things to do just write. The other thing would be to ignore negativity. You will receive it there is no way around it. Just remember you have a story to tell and no one but you can tell it. Just write for you!

 

TJ Penn_Halycon College Teaser with Book Cover

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2Ft05sh

What would you do if you found yourself in a building that didn’t want to let you go?

Four friends skip school intended to have the road trip of a lifetime. When they run into a strange woman in the middle of nowhere, their adventure turns into a Halloween they will never forget.

A legend of a fatal night so many years ago, that sparked years of deception, is closer linked than they know to one of their own.

Will the four friends survive to solve the mystery or are they fated to be the next entry in the Halcyon College legend?

 

 

 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Hi Readers,

Recently, I had the opportunity of interviewing this fantastic author:  Katherine Smits.  Check out my interview with her and her latest book, just in time for Valentine’s Day!!

**  1. Tell me a bit about one of your favorites that you wrote.

Wow! Starting right off with a hard question. This is kind of liking having to pick one child as a favorite. Right now, Water Desires is the story I’m most focused on because release day is March 4. However, Water Dreams was my debut novel, so that’s like my first born. And my other books and stories, both published and not yet published, are all special in their own ways, so really I could pick any of them to talk about. Since Water Dreams is the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series, I’ll tell you a little about it.

Water-phobic Nik discovers mermaids and mermen plan to make her a lab experiment. They can’t take no for an answer and will go to any lengths to get what they need.In the small Florida town of Tarpon Springs, Greek-American Nik Aronopulos avoids water. She never goes to the beach and shuns restaurants with views of the Gulf of Mexico. So, why would merfolk want to study her? When a gorgeous, dark-haired, infuriatingly arrogant merman tells her it’s her ability to stay out of water that interests his people, she’s stunned. There’s nothing special about her… or so she thinks. Bas is the merman tasked with obtaining Nik’s cooperation. He needs her to help his people overcome their greatest weakness—the need to rejuvenate in the Gulf so they won’t dehydrate and die. Although they can shapeshift to look like humans and have advantages over land dwellers, their dependence on water keeps them from freedom. There’s just one problem – the girl he’s meant to capture is hooking his heart.

When Bas is shot by a bullet meant for Nik, she must face her greatest fear to help him. Her decision plunges her into a desperate journey where her desire for self-preservation is weighed against her growing feelings for this merman who once meant her harm and what this might mean for all of them.If you like the mystery and suspense of the television series Siren, but you want more romance, Water Dreams will sweep you away.

** 2. Writing is a difficult endeavor.

What makes you continue to write?I wanted to write from the time I was old enough to read. However, I put it off while I raised a family and pursued my career as a clinical social worker. After I retired, I decided to try writing a novel. The experience was so amazing, I never wanted to stop, and I still don’t. Writing is difficult, but it’s the kind of hard work that provides immediate rewards. I see the results of my efforts right away. Unlike, say exercise.

** 3. What do you look forward to every day?

I look forward to sitting down to the computer and coming up with new characters and new plots. The best times are when the characters take over and the words flow. Hours pass in what feels like minutes and I’m as surprised as if I haven’t written those words. It’s exciting!

** 4. How do you define success? What makes you successful?

To me, success is finishing the project. Holding a physical book that I have created out of nothing is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. Knowing that I’m leaving this legacy for my grandchildren and greats who may never know me in person, humbles me. I’ll be present in those books in a real and tangible way.

** 5. Any tips for a newbie writer?

Everyone says this, but it’s the only thing that really matters: read. Read novels in your genre. Read novels in other genres. Read nonfiction. Read books about writing. Read advertising on your morning cereal box. Read everything and use it all to help you hone your craft.

Katherine Smits Book Cover Image_WaterDesires_LRG

Water Desires is the second book in the Love’s Siren Song series. The books don’t have to be read in order, but book two contains some spoilers for the first book.

When an unknown Nerei (merman) carries an unconscious and badly injured Bas in from the Aegean Sea, Nik realizes she must get him to an island in the Atlantic where a hidden spring of healing water will restore her Nerei lover. At the same time, her adoptive father is dying from a boating accident in her home town of Tarpon Springs, and he’s asking for her. While battling a weird illness which antibiotics won’t cure, Nik must figure out a way to save Bas and get home to help her father.

When Bas follows Nik to Florida, he is forced to keep his distance from her. He has already escaped one death sentence for having a relationship with a human, and he can’t risk another one. Still, he’s furious when Nik turns to her old friend, a mage Bas dislikes, to help her unravel the hidden truth behind her father’s accident.

Water Desires is Book Two in the Love’s Siren Song Series. The thrilling sequel to the award-winning Water Dreams will drag you under and not let you up for air until the end. If you like mermen, mages and magical romance, you’ll love this book.

Preorder Water Desires here: http://bit.ly/mermaidromance

 

Coming Soon! A Guardian Angel near you.

Hi Readers,

Get ready for the last Guardian Angel in the Guardian League series- Orion.  His long awaited book is almost here and it is different than the rest.  In this book there is not one- but two- guardian angels fighting for one woman!  Oh yeah.  This highly anticipated novel is on the way.  Get your Kindles, Nooks and ebook devices ready for this one, folks for it will burn up your device with its hotness!!

** Available for Pre-Order now! **

 

Blurb:

Why did life have to be so difficult at times?

Zoe never imagined she would find herself having to choose between two men—or should she say angels. As exciting as that sounds, the need to make a decision is tearing her apart. Does she choose the irresistible one who ignites her body with his passionate kisses, or the wild, untamed one?

Orion found his fated mate the second he saw her in the reflecting pool. He knows that Zoe wants him—but, he isn’t the only one that she wants. His nemesis, Mercury, is her co-guardian and is vying for her attention.

Mercury is a rebel—wild and untamed. As co-guardian to Zoe, he feels the need to protect the sexy human woman he has been assigned to. The trouble is he wants more, but he isn’t the only one.

Zoe wants both men, but not all angels will share. Torn between the two angels, she must choose only one. Who will capture her heart—and will the other accept her decision as final?

You will never know how much I love you_alternate teaser

Pre-order the final Guardian League Angel, today!

OMG, OMG, Yippee!!! Orion is available for pre-order!!! Release date is February 11th. Orion completes the Guardian League series and is a stand alone, scorching hot Angel paranormal romance. Grab your copy today!

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MY99PWS

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07MY99WS

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MY99WS

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07MY99WS

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/918843

 

 

orion- he would do anything for zoe

Previous Older Entries