Saturday, April 25, 2015

Back to the Manuscript -- Part Three

I completed the first rewrite of my manuscript two days ago. I'll be delving back into it in a few days after I give it more thought. And my weary eyes need some rest as well.

The issues I mentioned in the last post were evident throughout the manuscript. The one big positive is that I love the story,  even more as I got into it. 

And then it steered off in another direction near the end, which will likely become the beginning of a second novel in a series. That means I'll have to rework the ending.

I took several pages of notes that I will refer to when I get back into the manuscript. Most of it has to do with under-described scenes and developing several of the characters. And there were a few dialogue problems and a little fat that needs to be trimmed.

That's it for the update. 

Until the next time...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spotlight on Bobby Vee

When I was growing up in the early 1960s, music was in a transition, from doo-wop to the British Invasion. One of the biggest stars during that period was Bobby Vee.

Vee stepped into the spotlight after the "day the music died," when he and his band, the Shadows, were asked to fill in for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, for a concert in Moorhead, Minn., after the three rock 'n' roll stars were killed in an airplane crash on Feb. 3, 1959.

Vee, only 15 at the time, already had a recording ("Suzie Baby" under his belt. He scored his first Top 10 single in 1960 with "Devil or Angel," which reached No. 6 on the Billboard chart.

The native of Fargo, N.D., went on to record nine more Top 10 songs including "Take Good Care of My Baby," a No. 1 tune in 1961. His other big hits were No. 2 "Run to Him" and No. 6 "Rubber Ball" in 1961, No. 3 "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" in 1962, and No. 3 "Come Back When You Grow Up" in 1967. In all, Vee had 38 songs in the Top 100.

One of the musicians who played in Vee's band for a brief time in the early years was Robert Allen Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan. 

Vee, who is 71,  announced on his website in 2012 that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He and his wife, Karen, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on Dec. 28, 2014.

Vee was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in 2014. 

No surprise but he's been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other worthy artists of that era including Neil Sedaka, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Bobby Vinton, and Paul Anka. 

Here are few Vee's hits to enjoy:

Until the next time....

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Back to the Manuscript -- Part Two

I apologize for not having a post in nearly two weeks, but I've been busy working on my manuscript. Have you missed me? Don't answer that!

I'm more than halfway through the manuscript; I hope to be completed with the editing by the end of the month, if not sooner. I hope sooner so I can begin on the third rewrite. As I've mentioned in previous writing posts, I generally go through nine or ten rewrites before submitting it to my publisher. And from there, it goes through another editing phase with an editor before it's ready to see daylight.

As previously noted, this manuscript is from last November's National Novel Writing Month. I continued writing into December because I could see this is developing into a serial. We'll see. And then I sat on it for four months so I could review it with fresh eyes.

Here are some things I discovered after going back to it on April 1:

  • A few typos 
  • Misspellings
  • Dropped words
  • Wrong words
  • Fix continuity/flow problems
  • More description needed in some places, less in others
  • Improve dialogue 
  • Naming/renaming characters
  • Additional research 
Want to know something else? When I go back for more editing and rewriting, I'll probably have most of the same list (I hope to have the misspellings corrected, but they could crop up in rewrite). 

So that's where I stand today in regards to the manuscript. Don't you feel relieved to know that? Don't answer that either!

Until the next time...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Back to the Manuscript

After four months, I've returned to the manuscript I wrote during National Novel Writing Month. 

I actually started on the rewrite, edit and revisions on April 1, and that's no joke. I did the same with "The Bully List" two years ago. 

For me, I need the passage of time to revisit the manuscript with fresh eyes and renewed interest in the story. 

There's a lot of work to be done to get the manuscript ready for publication: Holes to fill, scenes to connect or delete,  dialogue to fix, characters to develop, details to describe, and as the late, great novelist Elmore Leonard recommended to all writers, take out the stuff that readers don't read.

So, as you can surmise,  I have a lot of work ahead of me in the coming weeks. And there will be more since I usually go over a manuscript nine or ten times before I'm ready to let it go to the next stop on the publishing ladder.

I find the process to be mentally draining as I usually spend only two hours at a time before I have to take a prolonged break. But during that time after I close the file, I think about what I've done to the manuscript. I often go back to something I just worked on and make changes, before moving on. 

I sleep on it as well. I believe most writers will tell you that they carry along thoughts about their manuscript -- and much of it subconsciously -- during all hours of the day.

One of my favorite quotes about writing and thinking is attributed to Burton Rascoe -- "What no wife of a writer can ever understand, no matter if she lives with him for twenty years, is that a writer is working when he's staring out the window."

I must add that my wife isn't buying that from me!

Until the next time...

Post-Authors Fair

The fifth annual Authors Fair in Madison, Ind., is history. 

My space at the Authors Fair. 
About 75 authors, publishers and illustrators from the tri-state area (Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky) participated in the event on April 4 at the National Guard Armory. The book fair was put on by That Book Place

Yolantha Harrison-Pace gave an animated presentation.
The day was filled with panel discussions and readings as well as authors discussing and signing their works for book lovers. Even the Girl Scouts were present, selling boxes of cookies.

Here are a few other images from the various activities:

Eddie Price (with hat) and Stephen M. Vest (talking to book fair patron) were among 75 authors at the event.

Authors talk about their works and sign books for patrons.

I shared table space with Leah Pugh and Mysti Parker.
A patron talks to author C.S. Marks.

Author Atty Eve, partially hidden,  signs a copy of her novel, My Beautiful Suicide, and Carol Preflatish.

Romance writer Magdalena Scott

One of the publisher's tables at the Authors Fair.

Author Bill Noel discusses his Folly Beach Mystery Series with readers.

Author-publisher Maddie James.

Author Leah Pugh reads from her novel, The Diamond Caper. 
It was an enjoyable day for me, and I'm sure for the rest of the authors and others who attended.  While I didn't sell a lot of books, I did meet some other writers to broaden my network and friendships, as well as talk to various folks about my novels. 

Until the next time...