Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Dear Editor

Dear Editor -

THANK YOU for agreeing to edit my manuscript :)  I have done my best not only to create a story that is intriguing, engaging and exciting . . . but I have tried hard to catch my own typographical errors, grammatical errors, sentence structure problems and point-of-view consistency.

In fact, before I submitted the manuscript to you, I read it from cover-to-cover four times.

So you won't see that I originally wrote one character's last name as Fowles and another time as Knowles.

I caught that in one chapter I referenced the "boiling heat of a Phoenix summer" and then three paragraphs later described the character as wearing boots and a sweater. 

Over the first three chapters, I referenced the threat of the protagonist and her family living in their Escalade at least six different times. I eliminated five of them.

In the first chapter, I wrote about the protagonist getting herpes from a client but didn't make it clear she got the virus from the STRESS of dealing with that client - not from having sex with him. I've reworded that sequence.

During my second re-read, I discovered I wrote that the protagonist is from Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota!  I've since made up my mind and made that change.

Had I not found it first, I'm sure you would have noticed that I described the protagonist's husband as having both green and brown eyes. I've since decided his eyes are brown.

And I found several words that I wrote but did not mean; ie, one time I referred to a character's "boots" as "books." Another time I referenced the character "Grace" as "Claire."  And yet again I referred to "Pussy" as "Piper." It even confused me during my re-read! I now understand why it's recommended not to have characters names that are close in sound.

And Mr. Editor . . . I'm sure you're editing this blog post as well - but that's okay - it's your job! I want and need your expert opinion, professional experience and diligent efforts.

I want my finished product to be as PERFECT as it can be!!

MK Sandoval

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's my anniversary!

I penned my first words on paper (figurtively speaking--I created my book through a book-writing software program) two years ago today!  I finished the story back in October (2012) but I'm still working on the editing portion of the process.

My original goal was to create a story approximately 90,000 words long. I had read that's a good average size of a novel. My finished story is just over 150,000 words. It took me a few more words to put my story together :)

When I began writing, I knew the general story plot. I had already decided what I wanted the BIG SURPRISE to be at the end, but I had no idea how to get there!!

I must have changed my beginning twenty times--and didn't finally settle on the first line until several months into the project. That's the beauty of not writing pen on paper. The software program I used made it simple to make changes. Not only could I easily delete the words I had just written, but I could slide however much text I wanted - a word, group of words, sentence, paragraph or even an entire chapter - to wherever I thought it might better fit.

It was definitely a "work in progress." 

I've mentioned already that I began learning about my new craft by purchasing and reading at least 100 books on how to write a book. I scoured the entire Phoenix Metropolitan area for every used book store I could find to build my library. It was fun to dig through the shelves looking for buried treasure.

I've now read books on how to build a plot, how to write dialogue, timing, writing description, characterization, and several other "general writing" manuals. I have a crime reference guide, a book on police procedures, a manual on "reading people," a book about how to write humor and other more specific writer manuals. I even found The Romance Writers' Phrase Book which came in handy when deciding on how to describe some of my characters.

It's been so exciting to get to where I am. Who knew my love of books would someday lead me to writing one!