Finishing the Final Edits

Victory Garden is now available from Amazon and Smashwords. I thought I was going to get it out early, but then I stopped everything else to study for my Revised GRE General Test, which I passed with a 162 out of 170. I read that’s a competitive score, so whoooo! It was definitely worth it to concentrate on studying, but then it took me longer than I thought it would to finish the final edits of the book.

I have a funny way of doing my final edits for a book. I like to upload the book onto Smashwords and Amazon, download a couple of copies, and then I’ll unpublish it because it isn’t ready to be seen yet. I like to read it in both Kindle and Nook formats because I like to see what readers are seeing when they read it. To me, the language flows differently on the small-size screen of a Kindle or a Nook than it does on the computer when I’m writing. Some of the mistakes I caught were silly typos. I type about 100 words a minute, but I also make mistakes along the way. He looked at his watched. Huh? Unfortunately, as we know, spellcheck doesn’t catch that because watched is spelled correctly. One of the funnier mistakes I caught was the name of the movie theater where Rose spends a lot of her time. There were two main movie theaters in New York City during 1917-1921 when the story takes place—the Rialto and the Rivoli. The first time I mentioned the theater I said it was the Rialto, and then for the rest of the book I called it the Rivoli. I did some research on the Internet, and I discovered Rose would have had to visit the Rialto since the Rivoli didn’t open until December 1917 and the story begins in April 1917.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of whittling the sentences down, as I’ve discussed before. For example, if I have a sentence that reads “He had remembered that the door she had left open was never closed” my whittle finger would chop it down to “He remembered the door was never closed.” Unless the “she had left open” was necessary to understanding, it can go. Besides, if the door was never closed, obviously it’s open. Nine times out of ten “that” can go. Seven times out of ten “had” can go. I have what I call my No Extra Words rule, and if a sentence can do without a word, or words, they go. I’ve learned to be precise, slicing extra syllables away with a butcher knife and laughing the whole time like a Benihana chef, but I hope I have stronger sentences because of it.

Now, GREs and Victory Garden done, with the first draft of Book Three of the Loving Husband Trilogy under my belt, I’m onto the final edits of a 38,000 word novella called Woman of Stones, which is based on a Biblical story. I began that story about ten years ago, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you soon.

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