Linda Lee Kane on Revising & Editing, #Giveaway


 Please welcome author Linda Lee Kane. She's talking about Revising & Editing today. And there are Giveaways! One Kindle copy giveaway of THE BLACK MADONNA to one commenter!
 
 
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  Over to Linda Lee Kane now...

I write historical fiction for the same reason people believe in God, to give meaning and order to life, or at least give it truth where truth may be lacking. 

Before you decide how to revise, it helps to have something that you have written to revise, like a first draft. When I write, I write with passion, emotion, I spill my guts out all over the pages, the next draft must bring to bear that very critical organ, the brain.

It’s okay if the first draft sucks; it’s supposed to suck. The only thing that needs to be done with a first draft is to finish it. Time and time again I hear people tell me that ‘they really have a great story to write,’ sadly I had said that same thing until someone told me ‘to just do it.’ So I did. When writing a first draft just get something down on paper. Be reckless, be shameless, be irresponsible and self-indulgent, but get it written down.

When you write your first draft, do not edit. Editing and writing are two different things, keep that in mind. When you edit your book you must be an emotionless diagnostician, probing each word, sentence, paragraph, grammatical error with a chisel and a hammer if need be.

Do not revise in the throes of creative ecstasy, or when you’re angry, upset, exhausted, depressed, you get the picture. Distance yourself from your manuscript for just a little while so you’re not so involved, take a break. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, familiarity breeds contempt, or worse, a false sense of perfection.

There are three things that I do as a writer once I’ve distanced myself, I ask a friend to read it.  I also read it aloud to myself after I have printed out each chapter. I pull out my trusty pen, and I begin the process of dissection. Another thing that could help is to have someone read it out loud, you might get a different perspective. The reader is not there to critique, but to react, to help you hear in your own words what you need to hear.

The ultimate solution is to pay for a skilled editor. For a price you can have your pick, but just because they are experienced doesn’t mean they are perfect, they could be a poor fit for your particular style of writing. Professional or not, an editor’s opinion is just that, their opinion.
When I revise I write multiple drafts to discover what I have been writing, and then to refine it into its ultimate form.  Sometimes a revision is a matter of re-envisioning, From our first drafts we may take a character, a scene, an opening sentence, possibly the theme you began with, or not...the rest is disposable words. And yet, if it has served up any one of those possible things, all that writing that you have done on your first draft wasn’t in vain.

Linda Lee Kane's latest release is THE BLACK MADONNA

Luci de Foix was nine when her parents were killed in a car accident. But was it an accident?

Unbeknownst to Luci, a group known as The Order has been watching her family for many years, waiting for the day that a diary written in the fourteenth century would be delivered to her family—a book that contains a key to a lost codex—and they would do anything to get it. Early one morning, when Luci is twenty-nine, a bloodied young man delivers a book, claiming it’s from her late grandparents.

 Plagued by panic attacks that have left her crippled, Luci struggles to overcome her fears, avenge the death of her family, and search for the lost codex.

 But who can she trust? Everyone seems intent on betraying her, even the gorgeous, enigmatic Max, a man with secrets of his own.

23 comments:

  1. I've been having a really difficult time getting my second book kick-started, but I think you've pinpointed the reason. I've gotta stop editing and revising, and just keep writing. My inner editor is an extremely pushy and picky broad, so I need to tell her to shut up and leave me alone. She can drive me crazy AFTER I get that first draft written. Thanks!

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    1. I know what you mean, I used to do the same thing. We're taught it in school. Now it's time to let go and enjoy the process.

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  2. My biggest problem happens to be revising while I'm writing the first draft. I just can't help myself!

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    1. No time like the present to change things up a bit. Go on, give it a try.

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  3. Excellent tips on when and how to revise! Thanks! I find fast first drafts take me in all the wrong directions, so I'm a slow and steady writer, getting feedback and changing my outline as I go. I'm weird - I know! lol Wishing Linda much success with her new book!

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    1. Thank you. I think if your process works for you, stick with it.

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  4. Congrats, Linda! It really is best to let a manuscript sit awhile before editing/revising. We need that time away from it.

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    1. Thank you Cherie, I'm sitting on one right now. The characters are still with me, i don't stop thinking about them, the scenes, extra emotion to describe, but sitting on it gives me that time to rethink things.

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  5. It's definitely important to have an editor. It's amazing the things a skilled one can catch.

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    1. Hi Sherry,
      I couldn't agree more. Next, you look it over again. Quite a process, something we live for.

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  6. What great advice about revising! I need to get writing so I can make it to the revising stage. The cold has been sucking up my energy! I definitely think it is important to be in the right mood to edit. :) Best of luck to Linda!
    ~Jess

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  7. Thank you Jess, please keep warm, you can think about your book with hot chocolate, in front of a blazing fire, with a cup of hot chocolate. I like marshmallows, how about you?

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  8. Great tips, Linda. We definitely need an editor or a great critique group to catch all the things we miss when reading our own work.

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    1. Hi Natalie,
      I praise editors unconditionally. I thought I could do it on my own, big mistake.

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  9. I agree with Natalie, these are great tips. One of my favorite ways to edit is to read aloud. It really does help. Nas, thanks for the intro to Linda!

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  10. Hi Karen,
    Thank you so much for the compliment

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  11. That's a very striking cover. :)

    I'm pretty good at not going back when I'm drafting. I believe in moving forward to get to the story down before I lose momentum. I always read my manuscripts aloud during the final stages.

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  12. Hi Medeia,
    Thank you about the cover. I'm with you look forward, don't stop the momentum until you've reached the end. Then start dissecting it.

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  13. The final copyeditor Simon & Schuster gave me for my last book was AMAZING. I was astounded at the little things she caught. Someone like that is worth her weight in gold, for sure.

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  14. Hi Stephanie,
    You are so right. I had a couple of incredible editors at Black Opal and Krullstone.

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  15. Great post. My problem is with the editing and being flexible enough to slash or head in a different direct. Black Madonna sounds like a keeper. Wishing you all the best with it.
    What a beautiful horse!

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  16. Hi Sandra
    Thank you for the compliment.
    In all honesty I find myself wrapped up in my characters and I don't want to get rid of them or change directions as well. Stephen King said "if you really love your character, kill them off." Sometimes that applies to the direction, be brave.

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  17. Oh thank you, that's my saddlebred, his barn name is Jeremy and he is in my book. His show name is Zane Gray. He is now 21 and an incredible buddy of mine.

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