Tag Archives: editing

From Rebecca: Editing Four’s a Crowd from proofs

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Joe, my husband Darren, and I are doing the unusual practice of doing heavy edits in the proof copies of Four’s a Crowd. Usually this would be done before the proofreading work, but we got blocked and needed a way to push forward. As regular readers know, Joe wrote a play, Kimberly, which four years ago Darren began adapting into the novel Four’s a Crowd. Darren and Joe would get together every few months and touch base with what Darren was doing with Joe’s characters and plotlines to expand them, and make notes on moving forward.

Darren finished writing the first couple of drafts, then we printed off copies so that the three of us could do edits. We did a couple of rounds of that, in starts and stops, and then sometime in the last year the progress just got stuck. As the three of us worked at different stages, we would think that one of us was doing something with the book, only to find out that the person thought that someone else was doing something, so all three of us would be in waiting patterns. And then nothing moved forward on the project for many months and Darren gave up.

Someone, I think it was me, suggested we just jump to the next step, which was getting proofs, and edit from there. Which we did, and the project is moving rapidly now. We are using the print-on-demand publisher CreateSpace for the novel. Joe had a good experience with them when he published his three books, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, Beyond North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, and Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger. I downloaded the CreateSpace formatted templet, and started plugging in the content. We had to wait a couple of days for the review, but then we were ready to order proof copies.

For Darren, this was the first time he held a bound book with his name on it as author, and he was pleased. The book is thicker than we imagined, and has a heft to it. We are all really proud of it. We will be changing the front cover photo, we still need to put in author photos, and make a few more cosmetic changes, but it is already an impressive achievement.

We got four of copies for editing, one for Darren, one for Joe, one for me, and one for Darren’s mother who agreed to read it and give us feedback. Darren’s mom read the book in two days and loved it. She pointed out a few things to change that helped a lot. I was going to say that Darren finished his editing yesterday, except he is sitting on the sofa right now with a pencil in his teeth and the book in his hands making more changes. Joe plans to do some editing with his copy today, while he also rests from a very busy week. I am on page number 232 out of 300 in my copy, so I don’t have much left.

Except for Joe who is using a sheet of paper, we are making our changes and suggestions right in the book with pencils. I am not sure why, but it is so satisfying to write directly in the book. The novel feels so much different in bound form than in loose sheets of typing paper, and editing in that form feels different too. Darren has already put his mother’s changes in his copy, then when I am done he will put my edits in his book too. In early January, Darren and Joe will have a meeting to go over Joe’s changes and put those in Darren’s copy too.

Then we put the edits in the manuscript computer file, upload the book to CreateSpace again, get another proof (which should read a lot smoother and faster), edit and change and upload again, and when we are ready, we will hit the publish button. And then Darren and Joe’s book will be out in the world ready to buy, hopefully by the end of March 2018. We will keep you posted.

Joe will be back next week with a new blog entry. Until then, as he would write, take care, have a great week, and happy reading


Rebecca and I have been working together for 7 years tomorrow

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe it has been seven years already since Rebecca agreed to be my typist and editor. That job quickly morphed into personal assistant, but that is okay. The main job is writing. After almost seven years together, we have put out over 600 blog entries, three books, and part of a book (written by Rebecca’s husband Darren) based on a play I wrote before we started working together. Oh, and by the way, that book is coming soon.

Yes, we’re very excited about Four’s a Crowd. Although we still have one or two edits to go, I’ve read the project and it is awesome. You’ll love it. Very soon Rebecca is going to begin putting it into the CreateSpace formatted templet, cutting and pasting each chapter in place, and we need to write a book description, before uploading the file to the publisher. Then it will be time to order proofs and we are going to do our final edit right on the pages. Proofs are never for sale, so what the heck, let’s mark them up.

When the book comes out, I’m going to go to Webster’s bookstore across the street and ask the owner, a personal friend of mine, if she would take several copies on consignment and push them. The worst thing she could say is no. I already have a few people from Facebook who I will go out on a limb and say will be guaranteed buyers. I have one phrase for you folks: Spread the word … please.

I’m extremely excited about this project, and Darren, who had lost all hope when things were moving slowly, has renewed enthusiasm as well. I’m not going to set an exact release date, but let’s just put it in the ballpark of January or February of 2018. I think we can do it. Updates as they happen.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to those families affected by the California wild fires, and by Hurricane Nate. I don’t know how long those fires will burn, but from what I saw on TV, they have already ruined several wine vineyards. Expect the price of wine from California to skyrocket. Also, an R.I.P and condolences to Tom Petty, a great singer, and his grieving family and friends.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

Here is a Friday blog entry on a Thursday

Greetings, readers. Tomorrow I am going to be working with Darren on edits and proofing for Four is a Crowd. I still have many chapters to read tonight and tomorrow morning. I must be ready by 1:00 pm. I have had a lot of fun reading this novel, which as my regular readers know is based on my play, Kimberly. I deem Four’s a Crowd to be excellent.

The working plan is for Darren and I to meet at our local library, Schlow Centre Region Library, at 1:00 and go over the entire novel. This sounds like a 12 hour task. It really isn’t. The draft I have on my computer is almost the final. I found just a few things here and there in each chapter that I want to go over with Darren.

This will probably take us a couple of hours, and if there is any time left, I will see what Rebecca has been up to; she will also be in the library. Soon, probably after I get back from camp, it will be time to search for agents and send query letters. That’s the drudgery of being a writer. Being unknown writers, our finished product might not be accepted by publishing houses. If worse comes to worst, then we will self-publish the book and learn how to promote it.

On a fun note, the last couple of evenings I have gone to YouTube and watched old Indy 500 races from the early 70s. What a treat it was to watch the old ABC crew back in action. Names such Jim McKay, Chris Schenkel, Dave Diles, Chris Economaki, Sam Posey, and Jackie Stewart, among others. For two hours at a time I was able to picture myself back home, sitting in front of the living room TV screen. Oh, those fun memories of childhood.

Well, this will take care of our blogging for this week. Both Rebecca and I will need tomorrow to be open. So have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I plan to read and edit Four’s a Crowd today

Greetings, readers. The other day I was inspired by Rebecca’s husband Darren. As a lot of you may know, Darren is turning my play Kimberly into a novel. The third draft of Four’s a Crowd is finished. We were looking for readers, with what we call fresh eyes. That way they can pick up on any flaws in logic. So far no luck with readers.

I have decided to take on this section of the project to critique and edit it. Admittedly, I probably know the story too well, but I will try my darndest to stay objective and keep a close eye out for anything that needs correcting.

I don’t have goals very often but I have one now. The goal is to have the thirteen-chapter book read and critiqued twice by August 5th. I leave for Maine a day or two after that. While I’m gone, the project will be turned back over to Darren to make corrections and we will call that the final draft.

The step after that will be to communicate with lawyers, draw up contracts, and then find an agent. I’ve decided that this book is too good to be self-published and sit on shelves because we don’t know how to market it. Between now and August, Rebecca and I will look at a possible list of agents. We will have to have a query letter and also a sample of the finished work ready to send to the agents.

If this book is as good as I think it is, we may be sitting on the launching pad. I don’t think it is going to hit Oprah’s top ten list, but I see it selling much better than my first three books did, which were self-published. Darren’s worked hard on this project, as I did years ago. I’m hoping that Four’s a Crowd will at least get us on the map.

On to other things, my kitty-cat Keekee is looking me right in the face meowing for her dinner. Before editing, I’ll probably give in and give her what she wants. I am pleased to say she got a clean bill of health yesterday at the vet’s office.

Tonight I have very simple plans; reading, reading and more reading. Even though my eyes become strained quickly, I want to finish at least through chapter five tonight. I began using a color coded system in my editing process but that slowed me down tremendously. I think I will grab a tablet, have that next to me, and make my notes there rather than constantly changing font colors. To me the use of that time was counterproductive and I could have gotten more done.

On a whoo-hoot note, I signed my letter of intent to stay here at Arnold Addison Court apartments for another year. Yes, it is small and yes the Penn State crowd can get loud sometimes, but in the end I really like my place. I have no immediate plans to leave. If I’ve counted correctly, I’ll be starting my tenth year here come October. How time flies.

It’s time to get onto other work so I will wrap up with my usual ending, bidding you a good day, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: My two writers

I am surrounded by writers. Joe at work and my husband, Darren, at home. Joe started writing this week on a screenplay using characters from a TV show, and I am impressed by the work he has done on it so far. When he is done, he might find a market for it or he will use the momentum to do another project that will sell.

Darren is taking Joe’s play, Kimberly, and adapting it into a novel. Every three weeks or so the two get together to compare notes and answer each other’s questions about the project. I am so proud and impressed with Darren’s progress and the direction he is taking the characters.

I edit for Joe and Darren runs some of his scenes by me, so I have a lot of opportunity to comment. Sometimes, when one of them is stuck at a point, my ideas can help with the writing process. Sometimes, when what I say undermines the writer’s confidence or idea, what I say can hurt the project and the writer. From bad experiences, I began to view new writing (when it is in the planning and first draft phases) like a tender new plant sprout, and I need to be careful not to trample it with the heavy boots of doubt or saying the idea would never work that way. I have trampled before and it stopped the project cold. I am tip-toeing around now, careful of the new ideas. Because I also know that an idea that might not sound like it will work at the beginning, might be a brilliant idea once it is fleshed out and in finished form; I learned from experience to be more patient. Both Joe and Darren have writing talent, and I know they will both produce good writing pieces when they get all the way to the end.

I read a lot of books, at least one a week, and have done so for most of my life. It is easy for me to have opinions about what makes a good read and therefore good writing, but the truth is I have not written anything of my own in a decade. Joe and Darren are putting their bodies in chairs and putting words on paper, day after day. When they have finished the first drafts, my editing work will begin. I admire them, and I am honored to be a part of their team.

As Joe would say, take care, keep warm, and happy reading.

Quick hello – post from Rebecca

Greetings, readers, as Joe would write. Joe and I are copy-editing the proof of his new Bear Spring Camps book this week, so he asked me to write a quick note saying that he will post another blog entry when we finish the process. If he has the energy he might post something after we finish work, otherwise it might be this week or next week.

He is so close to a publish date! We have to make corrections to the book document, then submit it to CreateSpace again, then when it is approved he has to order another proof and then check that one for errors. He will let you know as soon as Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories is ready and what web-site to go to if you want to order it. Until next time, take care.