Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BLOG TOUR: Excerpt, Book covers, and Editing, Oh my!

There's a lovely review of Flower Child on Summit Book Reviews today:, plus a 100-word excerpt on Ruth Cox's blog . Thank you Gail and Ruthi!

Meanwhile I'm putting Divide by Zero on a diet before sending the manuscript to my editor at Stonegarden. The novel comes out next July and already has a gorgeous cover from Peter Joseph Swanson (click on the link to see Peter's excellent books and book covers! I'm totally amazed that he's done a cover for me!)

A friend asked what diet I was feeding my novel on, so here goes:
  1. First I re-read the manuscript, looking for obvious duplication: "She put the cup down, laying it gently on the table" becomes "She placed the cup gently on the table." (4 words removed.)
  2. Then I used my word processor to find every " And ". Admittedly this doesn't find "and" but it successfully avoids "hand" and "grand" so it's not quite so overwhelming. Some of the pages looked awfully yellow with their "And "s highlighted, but they're much whiter now.
  3. Next find " But "
  4. And "that"
  5. And "was"
  6. And "were"
  7. And "Then"
  8. And "So "
  9. And "Meanwhile" too.
  10. Meanwhile I found and removed lots more ands and buts, shortened sentences, and deleted unnecessary adjectives and adverbs in passing ("dark night" and "crept slowly" for example). I'm rereading (again) on a quest for repeated words ("she said" "he said") and hope to finish, maybe, next weekend.
4,000 words removed so far--it's a long slow process, but I hope it'll read a lot better when I'm done. So that's my novel diet.

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