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

 

 

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.

 

Check out this amazing Upcoming Release

Keep your “Eyes Open” for this upcoming release from Tessa Valis, “Hearts Aflame.”

In the meantime, catch up with the characters in “Eyes Open.”  Available on Amazon:

 

 

 

Hearts Aflame book- coming soon_teaser

 

 

 

 

Tamara’s Top Ten *Must Reads* for 2017

Hi Readers,

With 2017 almost over, I looked over the many books I read this year and came up with this spectacular list of special favorites I can highly suggest for your TBR list.  I am enthused to be able to showcase these great books to you- several which came as a happy surprise to me.  This list includes many indie authors and several new to me authors with one exception.  I wish you much happy reading as you explore and enjoy these fabulous writers and what they have in store for youMy Top Ten Reads- 2017

 

  1. Eyes Open by Tessa Valis

**  This author is so amazing.  And if you love this book she has several more with the main characters, Kira and Carter.  These two are smoking hot and their love is forever -what we all want to have.

  1. Filthy Scrooge by Taryn Quinn

**What a delightfully naughty, almost taboo-like tale.  Boy this was sexy!  One of those books you want to savor reading under the covers in privacy, away from family and friends.

  1. Little Sister Next Door by Riley Rollins

**  A new to me author, I thought this was a sweet tale with some steamy scenes that kept the story exciting.

  1. Home for the Howlidays by various authors (boxed set)

**  I have only read the first book in this series but can highly recommend already.  Definitely a great gift set.  If you love your alpha males and you enjoy shifters, this is the one to get.

  1. Lightning Dragon by Charlene Hartnady

** Okay… Yes, I had to read this book because the protagonist’s first name is my own.  But that aside, this book was Awesome!  It was so great, I didn’t stop with this one and ended up reading several more in the Bride Hunt series and let me tell you- they are all great!

  1. Redemption: A Golden Beach Novel by Kim Loraine

** Okay, there were parts of this book I wasn’t too keen on- like how the main characters acted, sometimes, in their relationship, but overall, I do recommend this book if you love romance.  These two are not perfect but they love each other and in the end that’s all that matters.

  1. Fallon’s Fall (Space Pirates Series Book Two) by Jordan Summers

** Holy crap!!  First of all, I LOVE Jordan Summers.  But omg, this novel was rockin!  And either it was a short read or I was sooo into the book, I couldn’t put it down.  I wanted so much more of Fallon!  And there is something about his anatomy- his horns to be exact- that surprised me.  Mmmm.

  1. Dark Captive by Jennifer Denys

** Let me just say I am not into stories with BDSM genre.  That is; however, my own personal preference.  I included this book in the list because the ending surprised me.   It was well thought out it and is a short read with an interesting protagonist who has a secret you won’t discover until the end.  Really well done.

  1. Ice Planet Barbarians: A SciFi Alien Romance by Ruby Dixon

** Interesting book.  Priced right and there is a part in here, ladies, ~wooh~.   Let me just say, what this barbarian does to his mate the second he meets her….  it’s a surprise and let me just tell you- it’s HOT!!

  1. Creature of the Night by Jeffery Martin Botzenhart

**  A sweet, beautiful, short tale from an Indie author.  If you like Beauty and the Beast, you must read this one!  And the ending holds a surprise.  The love that the two main characters hold for each other will have you wishing you had your own “beast.”

 

 

** Free for Kindle Unlimited **

Eyes Open by T. Valis

 Free for Kindle Unlimited

Kira’s curiosity is about to set off a chain of events that no one could have predicted. Her 9 to 5, boring existence is about to be irrevocably shattered by one man. Carter Brams.

The mysterious and dark Carter Brams walked into her life and walked off with her heart. As Kira’s world shifts around her she reaches out to Carter for help.

Once your eyes have been opened you will never see the world the same way again. Once Carter Brams has Kira in his arms, will she ever view things from the same angle again?

Buy Links:
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2bwrKvg
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2bzMukw

Eyes Open teaser

Available now! Board Games by Piken Sander

OUT NOW!! At forty-five, striking Carol Blake has it all: a Chicago corporation she built from the ground up on the verge of international success with a complicated merger, and Brian Cross, who at thirty is the youngest Board member of her company. Against her better judgement she and Brian fall in love and secretly marry. Marriage is not without its ups and downs, but as the merger grows closer to fruition, Carol’s Board of Directors, including Brian, undercut her to wrest control of her company from her. Betrayed and enraged, Carol must regain control. …but is it too late?

 

I love Stalkers!

Hi Readers,

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