Saturday, August 24, 2013

Editing For Indies...

Everywhere an Indie author looks they'll read that you CAN NOT edit your own work!

How-some-ever; None of those prohibitors ever explain how a poor boy with not enough cash to eat three meals a day is supposed to pony up the $3500 bucks it takes to pay a commercial editor for the lower end of editing assistance on a finished work.

I have literally been told; "That doesn't matter! If you respect your work you do it!" Seriously? You spend the $3500 dollars that you Don't HAVE? How imaginative. That guy HAD to be a fiction writer! ... Science Fiction...

So... putting those prohibitions aside, and doing the task to be done with as good a quality as I can muster, I have discovered a couple of tricks that help.

One is enlarging the text to fill the entire screen. Sometimes having the type increased to that size, misspellings and punctuation goofs will jump out at you a little more clearly. Also, I for the life of me can't remember the name of the lil' gizmo just now... but... on the tool bar at the top is that lil' reverse P thing-a-ma-bob? Turn that on so you can see all the spacing and formatting. That will also help reveal some mistakes.

The third and most helpful thing I've found is my Kindle. Not only is it a SWEET electronic library... it is an AWESOME editing assistant for a poor aspiring author trying to turn out good work!

I email-to-kindle my finished manuscript. Right off, the biggest of formatting issues seem to pop out once that email has been converted to the kindle format.

Then, I turn on the Text to Speech Option of the kindle. Personally I use my Ipod ear buds. Though the computer generated voice sounds a lil' odd, misspellings, awkward wording and quite a few punctuation oddities JUMP out when it tries to pronounce and speak them!

I've found many tricky to "find" misspellings... when the Kindle "Sounded" weird trying to say the word!

Audioize your manuscript on your own personal Kindle as an AWESOME Text editing tool!

I follow along on my laptop and correct as I go. Just put the kindle on pause; make the corrections or rewording, hit go! and continue!

So... don't get your shorts in a knot when the prima donnas tell you that you can't. Just find the ways to make it happen!

~ BK Gore

Friday, August 23, 2013

Shadow on The Mountain is Finished!

Well, almost finished, all 93,405 words of it. The story is complete, now I've got the eye crossin' work of editing to do.

Writing a story is a great pleasure... editing is simply the monotonous, dreary, has to be done, work at the end. I'd compare it to owning horses. Riding a fine horse in new country up in the mountains on a sunny day is a complete joy. To be horseback, high on those sunny slopes, with a view clear to forever? Why, that's as fine a thing as you can ask for.

Buuuuut... back at the barn those six stalls full of recycled alfalfa still have to be cleaned. Yup... along with the joy of a fine horse... comes the constant shoveling of wheel barrow loads of horse poop. Anybody claiming they enjoy that is either undiagnosed Nuts! or they're off their meds.

How-some-ever... if you want the one you have to accept the other... so it's editing I'll be doing.

The first pass is actually mostly entertaining. You're the first one to get to read the story in its entirety... double checking for context/continuity goofs, clumsy, tongue tangling wording and the BIG story line DOH's!

It's those second and third trips through that get to requiring a disciplined effort. They are abso-freakin-lootly when it becomes a JOB. Those are  the passes where you're looking over each word for the funny lil' miss-spellings that your mind overlooked the last two tries... and all the other such small typo blips in your authorial endeavor.

So... the story is done... but there remains a lot of work to follow up before Ben is back on the shelf with his Fresh tale.

Mr Coffee is keepin' the pot hot and I'm hard at it...

~ BK Gore

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shadow On The Mountain is Getting Awful Close to "Post" Production.

Shadow On The Mountain has taken some great leaps in the last few days. Things always seem to accelerate as the completion of a story approaches.

When the players in a tale begin to converge near the end I find myself sitting at the keyboard for hour stacking on hour; drinking coffee and typing away as fast as I can... wanting as much as everyone else to find out how the story ends!

In another couple of days the story will be complete and ready to spend the next few weeks editing and polishing.

I've got to edit, edit and re-edit the text, build the Cover, correctly format the manuscript... and... find the dinero to replace MS Word that was trapped/lost on my decayed Dell computer that was replaced last fall.

I've been writing on a "Freeware" copy of Open Office. It appears very similar to "Word" but, I've found it apparently has a few quirks that don't fit well into Amazon's system.

Since my main distributor, Smashwords, has a Style Guide that directs a man of limited computer literacy, step by prescribed step, through the intricate maze of properly formatting a manuscript, for ebook publishing, using the MS Word program, and since it is THE industry standard platform...

.... I'm not gonna fight the flow of the river...

... I'll be, somehow, replacing that program ASAIC (as soon as I can) to eliminate that one source of stress and torment that I can.

With any luck at all my newest Novel will hit the electronic shelves in the next six weeks...

... and making any such prediction is likely to prove to have been a foolish thing to do... considering that Murphy is still on the loose and un-imprisoned.

~ BK Gore

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ben Jensen, The Future is Murder...

My next Novel to be Published; "Shadow on The Mountain", the second book of the Ben Jensen series is coming close.

Being a distracted Gypsy Drifter sometimes invades my writing. I'm the sort that immerses myself in a story and the scenes roll through my head like a movie reel. It scares the neighbors to see an old pussgut mumbling to himself and banging away on the keyboard... but... it is how it is.

The problem arises when distractions yank out the power cord to the projector. It's not a machine that I have the ability to turn on and off at will. It takes time and  focused effort to put myself in that "place" where the movie reel cranks up and I can get to copying down the story before the screen fades. Get pulled out of that "creative place" and... Aw CRAP!

I am better at dealing with "the world" than I used to be, but still too long a ways from where I need to be. That world has little compassion for the problems of a wandering word whittler.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. So... in light of those many diversions, distractions, disruptions and wrong turns that have obstructed the completion of this, what I believe is developing as my best story to date; "Shadow" is getting very close to the close of this part of Ben's story.

I appreciate the patience of all my readers in waiting to see what the future held and holds for Ben and Amanda... and I can only say that, from my perspective... it held quite a bit!

Stay tuned! The future is on the way!