My Writing/Edit Process

 

 

There are a fair few people who have asked me about my editing process because my books have very few errors. (This post may well have errors, fair warning)

So, I’m going to post it here.

Everyone has a different way of doing things, and you will get used to your own. Just practice and test things out. See what you have fun with, what works and what doesn’t.

I am a screenwriter by trade. Yeah, you can look me up. That means I write really lean and mean. Fast action and really hard-hitting pace. I don’t screw around. This does sometimes mean my prose suffers. My style thus comes from a lot of hard work and in using the best people around me to work with me to beat the crap out of me… (err my writing, lol)

This is how I do it.

1 – Writing – 

For the most part I have that ‘movie’ in my head. I see everything in script form, so this means either a 3-act structure or a 5-act. Totally depends on my mood and thus easy to spot in my novels.

I’ve had coaches from all over the world, spoke with and learned a lot from them. I have relished every time someone selling for a living has made the time to reach out and let me know what they loved, and what they think I needed to work on.

Dialogue for me comes naturally. All the fluff description, nope.

I sit down. My choice of venue is www.mywriteclub.com because of the people I have met there over the last 3 years. It works. It pushes me beyond any other writing app. Usually, I write out 800-1500 words in 25 mins, with a break. Then start again. Because I work full time 30-40 hours a week, my daily goal is 3-6k it really just depends on the mood. I push for the higher end and most times I do it. But, work… drains me, so I’m happy with the 1 chapter. My days off or when doing a short shift, I aim for 6-10k

2 – First pass – Typos and Punctuation

This is without a doubt the hardest pass for me, because it’s literally just the typo, punctuation pass. I am no grammar guru, I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. I also know I suck at it. When I sprint, I also tend to miss out ‘speech marks’ so I have to insert a whole lotta them. Sometimes I miss a good few, I hope I catch them all, but I know I don’t too.

3 – Dedicated Alfa team

Yes, I do have some really amazing people. They will look over this if I ask them. I don’t usually, but it’s there if I need them. This is only if I’m unsure about where something is going, I’m usually pretty good with direction though.

4 – My Second Pass

This is where I pick apart the arc in each chapter, that means I look at how it begins, where it goes and where it ends. Get in late, get out early. This all means I look at each overall length and decide if it works.

5 – Character depth/word use

Two hits here, if it is in third POV and I am using a multicast, (like for The Secret King) this is a check on their screen time. If it’s in First Person POV then I make use of this time by doing a quick over word usage check. I have my crutch words and so do many other people.

6 – Dev editing

For some of my smaller pieces, I’ve not used paid Dev Editing. This is because my Alfa and Beta readers are fantastic and I’ve been able to work with them to fix any smaller holes. This works for me because of my scripting. I do love shorter pieces, they were the most fun in film school and beyond. Using all the tricks to get those hooks into readers in the least possible time.

7 – Fixing

This means I have to read the dev edit notes. Step away. It takes me a day or so to let any feedback settle. No matter my time schedule. I don’t rush this. I trust my muse, but sometimes it’s the tiniest way of wording something that makes the story or my meaning of it come out better, easier. This process usually takes the longest, and is one I cherish, because, without the notes from those readers, my worlds would never be as polished. I value my ‘editors like gold’ because they are. If you find someone who you love to work with. DON’T ABUSE THEM.

8 – Letting the whole thing sit

This is also a pretty important part of editing for me. To take a break from something. There’s not always time for me to step away from a project for long. This year’s schedule has been intense as all hell. 1 million words! I think I was crazy, but I am almost there! One book left to write… just one!

So for me, it might not be ‘walking away’ and coming back to it a few weeks later. The dev edit stage is a good time for me to do something else. To let the muse wander to another world and to see and play over there for a while. This is my way of breaking.

For some I know it’s to play a game they’ve been waiting on for a week, to take a reading holiday, or binge-watch the shows they’ve missed out on.

For me, it’s also cleaning house… making sure I spend extra time with family or Bobby J

9 – My final Read through and Pass

Scrivener is brilliant. Working with Editors is also brilliant, but they work in word. So the passing to and from Scrivener gives me a headache. For this stage, it’s mostly in Word now… so I make sure it’s in my format template for the story world, and I sit and read through – backwards…. Scrivener is great because the Mac version will read to you. There are lots of programs out there that you can convert to, that will also do this. I highly recommend it.

10 – Copy Edits

I have used a few people over the years, but trust RMJ Editing the most, and the edits for the books she’s worked on get high praise indeed. There are many reasons as to why I love this editing service, Rogena has never let me down. She’s pulled out all the stops with serious attention to detail and her extra comments on my story have helped me even beyond dev editing. You can find her website details and services here – https://www.rogenamitchell.com/

Other than RMJ Editing, I have used Chimera Editing Services, this was a last-minute jump due to time constraints. I found no fault with their work at all either. I would use them again in a heartbeat. Very professional and affordable. http://www.chimeraediting.com/

11 – Working through copy edits and final notes

Sometimes there’s still the odd thing that needs a little building on. Although Copy edits are supposed to be just that. It’s great to get a note to say if something isn’t quite working so I can still fix it. This comes with trust, and in building working relationships with the editors you use. I choose to use different people along the way because I get the most value and differences of opinion throughout.

I take my time here also, go through each page. Mostly I agree with things, sometimes I don’t. And a change here and there’s not accepted.

12 – Final Proofing

I can ask a couple of amazing people to help here, and I treasure them just as much as anyone else, having these people around you, means the most. They can focus on anything, missing/wrong on the ‘reader’ level.

Do not skip this part either!

For paid proofers I’ve used some from Fiver, who were pretty darned good for the prices, and most recently Jerome Kroger who is in the process of setting up his editing websites and services. All found and spotted just a few things that I’d missed.

13 – PUBLISH!

Hitting that button is the scariest thing you might ever do! We all worry about it… we wait with anticipation and refresh amazon… all day long…

Think about how you word things to us… J reviews help! Kind words and helpful spots also help… choose how you do so with the integrity you’d like someone to reciprocate.

However, that is never the end! Always just a little tweak or ten!

There will be a couple of pesky typos or missing words that get through.

14  – Audiobook Pass

I hadn’t considered this one before I started Audiobook’s. But it is…. And this one embarrasses me because sometimes no matter the huge effort I put in above, the narrator will always spot the odd inconsistency that we missed. Sigh.

 

I adore them all, they have picked out a few typos and wrong word choices. But, yes, this is a really final pass over… although usually, it’s also way after the publishing phase.

So, there you have it. My process.

How do you do it?

 

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New Release – DragonBlood Throne – Tom Fallwell

                                             

BLURB

Orphaned as a young child and growing up alone in the forest, Delina lives a life of isolation; her only companion a saber-toothed panther. Her strange eyes frighten those she occasionally encounters, so she keeps to herself, until a young, wounded warrior ends up at her doorstep. As she nurses him back to health, she discovers she is more than just a young woman with unusual eyes, she is a dragonblood, destined to become the ruler of Almar.

 

Now hunted by the dark sorcerer who murdered her father, usurped his throne, and killed all her kin, she must find out how she can release the essence of the dragon inside her to defeat him. Everything depends upon her willingness to embrace her legacy and reclaim the Dragon Throne.

Excerpt from Dragonblood Throne: Legacy, by Tom Fallwell

Copyright © 2017 by Tom Fallwell – All Rights Reserved

Ignoring the two scribes fidgeting nervously behind him, Kargoth anxiously watched the cosmic tableau of the moons unfold in the darkened sky from his balcony. The rare, lunar eclipse was only moments away from its apex, the new moon phase of Tibel almost centered within the bright ring of Sianor behind it.

While he would never admit it, not even to himself, Kargoth was fearful as he waited to see if the prophecy was true, if there would be a sign indicating a dragonblood still lived in Almar. The words of that prophecy played continually in his mind as he waited with bated breath.

Ring of the heavens,

Ring shining bright.

Darkness the lesser

Than greater moon’s light.

When the ring glows bright

As the moons above turn,

Blood shows the sign

Of the dragons return.

A dragon reborn

From an innocent child.

The power will grow

As emotions run wild.

The dragon will rise

When all hope seems lost.

All evil will pay

The dragonblood’s cost.

The dragonblood comes,

The darkness will die.

The dragon wings spread

And the dragon will fly.

“Here it comes,” Kargoth said, never removing his gaze from the moons. “Now we’ll see if there is any truth to this prophecy.”

The scribes trembled, fearing their High Lord’s wrath, as Tibel firmly centered itself in front of Sianor. The light in the night lessened momentarily as Tibel covered much of Sianor’s full and bright splendor.

The slim circle of light around Tibel began to burn brightly, becoming a brilliant glowing ring in the night sky. For a moment, the scholars hoped that perhaps the prophecy was false, but a red glow began to fill the darkness of Tibel. It was as if some celestial being had poured a bowl of blood into the mold of the darkened Tibel, now glowing with a red, unearthly light. The eclipse became a white circle filled with a blood-red glow.

The prophecy was true! It was a sign of blood! Of dragonblood!

The scribes slowly backed away from the balcony in fear, anticipating the wrath of their lord. They could almost hear Kargoth’s rage brewing inside him as he suddenly turned on them, his steel eyes boring into their souls.

“It’s true! That beast, Jeraldin, had another child!” His anger turned on the two robed figures. “You should have known this sooner! You impotent cretins!”

He raised both hands in front of him, palms outward. The terrified scribes turned to run, but it was too late. A dark fiery energy streamed from both his hands, as jets of black, searing flame engulfed the two men. Their horrifying screams of agony echoed throughout the chamber and into the halls beyond as their bodies were consumed by the deadly power Kargoth had loosed upon them. Within seconds, only smoldering piles of ash remained on the floor.

Dropping his hands in frustration, a deep and tortured frown peeked from the shadows of his hood. Kargoth stormed toward the throne room door. “Guards! Guards! Get my generals! Now!”

Whoever this dragonblood was, Kargoth had to make sure they never lived long enough to be a threat to his power. He would scour the entire kingdom and find this dragonblood. He couldn’t allow one of their kind to live.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

   

 

Early in life, Tom Fallwell discovered a love for fantasy and science-fiction, delighting in the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of. Weaned on the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, and Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called ‘Chainmail’, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love: the love of creating adventures and stories of his own. ‘Chainmail’ evolved into ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM) for decades. Such activities helped him develop his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that constantly fill his mind and shares them with the world.

Website: http://tomfallwell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomFallwell

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Fallwell/e/B00IV2JSJI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11303749.Tom_Fallwell

Rangers of Laerean Series: https://www.facebook.com/RangersofLaerean

Dragonblood Throne Series: https://www.facebook.com/DragonbloodThrone

Where to buy

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073SYDP68


Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/735008

New Release – Soldier of Cortanis

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Ghosts of Cortanis

SOMETHING HAS MANIFESTED

Tides of Cortanis is the most successful online game of all time, with fifteen million players sharing a vast, fantastic science fiction realm. Naomi René hides from her depression and loneliness by playing in Cortanis as her character Vanda, fighting space battles and going on adventures with a close-knit group of online friends. She is stunned to learn that her best friend, Peter, has died while playing.

But when Peter mysteriously appears in the virtual game world, not even the game developers can explain where he came from or what he is.

Naomi must go deep into the game’s darkest corners to find out what happened to Peter. What she finds forces her to confront her own demons… demons of her past she can’t hide from anymore.

Not if she is to escape Peter’s fate.

 

Demons of Cortanis

NOW IT KNOWS HOW TO KILL

Naomi has taken a job working for the video game company that produces Tides of Cortanis, the most successful online game of all time. Her SimMind, LEM, has disappeared into the game world and joined up with Soulless, a notorious group of artificially-intelligent entities like him.

When a player is killed by a hoax SWAT call on his house, Officer Jon Temple hears the victim’s dying word: “Soulless.” Furious that he’s been used to murder someone, Jon swears he will find who is responsible and bring them to justice.

Jon and Naomi unite to search for the killer together, but the deeper they dig into the game’s secrets, the more they risk becoming the next targets. Naomi must learn how to be as strong as her game character, Vanda, if she’s going to find out who is killing players… and survive what’s coming for her.

 

Soldier of Cortanis

IT MUST ALL BE DESTROYED

Having discovered the horrific secret of Cortanis, Naomi and Jon are on the run, carrying the hibernating A.I. Trepatia and desperate to deliver her to the only man in the world who can help them: the mysterious billionaire Scott Yotta.

Hunted across half the country by her own government, Naomi finds herself embracing and manifesting the strengths of her game character, Vanda, to stay alive and do what has to be done. Yotta’s audacious plan depends on Vanda’s bravery and resolve to carry out her daring, dangerous mission.

But nothing can prepare her to face the international assassin hired to track her down and kill her.

You can find C.J. Wieland – at –

The Secret King – Lethao – Free for the B2BCycon :)

There it is I’ve put out a promo for the event and our first book is Free to download and keep! not just Kindle Unlimited. 🙂 so grab a copy now!

myBook.to/TSK-Lethao

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The Brain’s to books event is huge, with loads of events on all weekend, and to which I might add, I’m also taking part in the SciFan Magazine’s LitRPG launch, party and more in the facebook group –

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

I’ll be talking mostly about our Litrpg novel Know Thy Enemy, written by myself and Matt Ferraz. Introducing you to our two main characters, and the world/game they occupy.

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There will be loads of fun, Jeff Hays is also making an appearance 🙂 2.00pm EST live, (fingers crossed he might read from our story)

Five chapters features in the SciFan mags’ LitRPG edition – myBook.to/SciFan-LitRPG-1

And tomorrow, it continues!

Check out TSK’s second book also in coverwars!

http://b2bcycon.com/fantasyscience-fiction-cover-wars-2/

Go vote for this amazing cover…. (shameless I know) haha

 

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Daughters of Destiny Release Day – Author – Devorah Fox

An Interview

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  1. The Redoubt is the latest in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam. What’s background to that series?

It began as my National Novel Writing Month project in 2010. That was the first time that I entered the writing marathon NaNoWriMo challenges writers to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I was successful and found it a great way to get a novel started. The other books in the King Bewilliam story have all started as NaNoWriMo projects. The Redoubt was my fourth NaNoWriMo marathon in 2014 and I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015.

  1. You’ve worked on other projects besides the King Bewilliam series.

I have. I am thrilled to have my short story, “Turning the Tide,” in the company of work by talented, bestselling authors Samantha LaFantasie, Alesha Escobar, Timothy C. Ward, H.M. Jones, and Alice Marks. We all contributed to Master of Time, A Science Fiction/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology. I was delighted to discover that I can write short fiction. When I first set out to write fiction I wrote novels, largely because I was trying to write the book that I most wanted to read. Later as I joined writers groups I became in awe of authors who wrote short stories and managed to achieve so much with so few words. It’s a very different craft from novel writing. I was thrilled to find that I could say what I wanted to say in less 2,000 words.

  1. How do you balance your schedule between writing/editing/marketing?

I wish that I could say that I have achieved balance. I spend entirely too much time on marketing and not nearly enough on writing and editing. It’s a truism that if we spend all our time on marketing and none on writing we’ll have nothing to market, but it’s hard to decline the opportunities that come my way.

  1. What’s your favorite social media network and why?

I would have to say Facebook. I find it’s a good way to stay in touch with friends whom I don’t see in person because of time or distance. OK, let’s be honest: it’s because it’s chockablock with cute cat photos and videos.

  1. Of the marketing techniques you’ve tried, which have been most successful?

If sales are the measure, the most successful marketing I’ve done has been book launch signing events at the Port Aransas Art Center. I very much appreciate the support of the Art Center and the Texas Coastal Bend community.

  1. Where would you like to see your writing career in 5 years?

I have so many works in progress. In five years I would hope to have finished Books Five in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic fantasy series and A Whale of a Tale, a spin-off from my contemporary Coastal Texas thriller “Naked Came the Sharks” that I’m co-authoring as well as a sequel or two to that book. I’ve revived a novel that I started in 1993 and I’d like to finish that. I have several detective-series drawer-stuffers that I’d like to dust off and get between covers. I’m a huge “Warehouse 13” fan and I have three pages of ideas that would make great short stories in the steampunk genre. And, Sir Maxwell, a character from the King Bewilliam series, wants his own book. I think it would make a great Young Adult story.

  1. If this was your last interview ever, what would you really want to say?

Thank you, everyone who has read my work and asked for more. It’s your encouragement that tells me that writing is what I ought to be doing, as opposed to brain surgery or mixed martial arts.

 

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Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/H5IW8oVJCnQ

The Redoubt: Voted #35 of 50 self-Published books With Reading 2016.Having bested beast, man, and even his own failings, King Bewilliam has regained his throne, reunited with his sons, and restored his embattled kingdom, yet something is lacking. When a crippling famine threatens the Chalklands’ very survival, his vassals propose a risky plan to seek aid from a distant ruler. King Bewilliam strikes off on a perilous journey to the island empire of Sea Gate accompanied by a cadre of loyal knights and nobles who are unaware that the plan will reunite the king with a spurned lover.

  • This is why we read fiction. In the King Bewilliam series, Devorah Fox has created a world of adventure, intrigue, fancy—and dragons. The reader is drawn in as King Bewilliam tests his heart, mind, and ability for invention to reclaim himself and his place in that world. These stories are wonderful and imaginative—and fun.—Michael Stephen Daigle, author of the Frank Nagler mystery series.
  • Your book kept me quiet company during a harrowing time at Hospital with congestive heart failure. I hope that next book can be read in less stressful moments. Thank You! Thank you for a “quiet story” which I could read and enjoy with serenity.—David Abbe

 

Sharable Links

What Makes it a Fantasy?: http://www.masqueradecrew.com/2013/11/what-makes-it-fantasy-syndicated-from.html

The Sophomore Curse: http://www.indiepubchat.com/sophomore-curse/