Category Archives: Editing

Published our fourth anthology

Anthology cover 2016

 

My writer’s group publishes an anthology of our writing each year. Members submit, then I take their stories and assemble the book, design the cover, and upload to Createspace and Amazon Kindle Publishing.

The steps to publish an anthology is as follows;

  1. Edit and revise your stories so that it is the best it can be. As editor, this often means I go through to remove indents, line spacing, spellcheck, and run through punctuation. I then make sure the Title is formatted to HEADER 1, and the author’s name is HEADER 2.
  2. I add pages: Page Numbers. Title page that includes all authors. Copyright page for the book and include book cover design copyright as well. Book dedication page, which often is to the authors who submit, my writer’s group in general, and all would-be authors out there. TABLE OF CONTENTS- This gets added when I add all stories into a single document. This is where the HEADER settings are added into the TABLE OF CONTENTS field. I double check its layout and if its correct.
  3. I revise again for formatting issues.
  4. I download a pre-formatted file from Createspace that includes the gutter (that’s the book seam of a printed book) and margins. I cut/paste the book, then go through the document to check for formatting again.
  5. I send this out to all writers to check their bio page and story, and if they want, they can also check the rest of the book. It is always a good idea to get fresh eyes on the manuscript.
  6. I make revisions again.
  7. I work on book design while authors check the manuscript. Once I get their feedback, I put everything together and upload to Createspace.
  8. I often have to make more revisions if it doesn’t look correct under the online revision screen. This generally includes how the pages look in the book format.
  9. If it looks good, then I click ok, choose ‘channels, which includes book stores or online stores that might want to order the book, libraries, and of course Amazon and Createspace stores online.
  10. I adjust price. I generally keep this as low as possible since the anthology is meant to get the writers some exposure.
  11. Add the eBook version. I have to go through a similar process to get the eBook version up, editing the book cover as well. What I find frustrating is that Amazon and Createspace doesn’t play so well together and you can end up with two listings of the printed version and the eBook version.
  12. I then announce to group and hooray– we have another book released.

Printed anthology 2016

EBook version of anthology 2016

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Filed under Author, Editing, Publishing, Writer

Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks

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While editing a manuscript, I found a need to make the process faster with the use of hotkey (keyboard shortcuts), wildcards, and some keyboard tricks to get things done.

These work only in MS Word.

Doing this

Does this

Pressing the dash key 3x will create a horizontal line in your document

== =

Pressing the equal key 3x creates a double line in your document

Ctrl   H

Opens the Find/Replace feature.

Ctrl  E

Aligns text and graphics to center

=rand(08,10)

Type this in your document creates random text if you ever need to add random text.

^p^p

^p

Using Find/Replace, put ^p^p in Find and ^p and this removes manual spaces between paragraphs

Ctrl  SHIFT  m

Inserts a comment where you put your cursor in the document.

SHIFT  F7

Pressing these two keys open the built in Thesaurus. You can often find synonyms by RIGHT-CLICKING over a word. You will choices of words to use.

LEFT CLICK

The mouse

Clicking a word twice will highlight the word. Click three times, and you select the entire paragraph.

 

Find these useful? Share with your friends, subscribe, or leave a comment to let me know. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like me to post a blog about, leave me a note.

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Evocative Writing Tips

SnowfairyOne of the more enjoyable elements of reading a good story is feeling the stirrings of emotion. As a reader, I can cheer or boo the characters, but also sympathize and relate to what they endure in the story.

Words are powerful; they can incite rage, deep thought, even provoke tears. They can change minds, influence beliefs, and take the reader into another realm, letting them live another life, and leave them wanting for more.

But how to get that into your words? Here are some tips;

Ask yourself, what makes you feel? It is the human condition that touches the reader, letting them know they are not alone in the world, that the storyteller, the characters, share their emotion and reactions.

By writing things that we can all relate, touches upon the fact we are social creatures, needing one another, but also empathizing with others. We might not share the same intensity, or respond the same, but feelings of loss, love, anger, jealousy, etc are very universal.

Show, don’t tell. You can’t tell the reader what the character is feeling, and you won’t have to; the situations, conflict, and influences from other characters should be more than enough to help ‘show’ the high emotions of any scene.

A good example is sharing what a character behaves with that emotion, not the emotion itself. Someone feeling grief might range from dissociative feelings to anger, denial, or even a sense of disbelief. Fear takes the form of biting nails, tugging hair, or feeling sick. Rage takes shape in anything from breaking things to dead silence.

Use style to shift mood and pace. Short sentences are best for fights, but scenes that build relationship often require more detail, with sentences of length.

Direct, to the point, style of writing works best in scenes you want to move quickly, to add a sense of tension, or the shift a character who realizes how to solve the conflict. Flowery detail can paint description, illustrate deeper emotion, or share the innermost thoughts of a character.

The highest form of flattery is when a reader expresses how a story made them feel. I’ve had readers tell me how much they cared for the characters, or even how angry they became with certain scenes.

What stories made you feel? Have you ever cried when reading a story? Post in comments. I’d love to hear from you.

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Writers- Do not use Tab indent!

indent01As I am compiling this anthology, I’ve come to realize that many writers take for granted the little thing we call formatting; they automatically double space, two spaces between sentences, or they add 5 space indents manually.

What I mean by manually is that you use the TAB button each time you indent a new paragraph.

Why is this an issue? Simple- it’s a nightmare for editors to format consistency in an anthology when submissions vary their formatting, and changing those formats can be a nightmare when anything is done manually.

indentIf you indent with the TAB button each time, that means someone like me must go through the entire document, changing the indents to fit the guidelines, when MS Word provides a paragraph format tool to change indents automatically for the entire document.

I also now realize the importance of following guidelines. I tried to be basic, but still find myself having to adjust and re-format the documents sent to me.

Some writers use a different font, double space (or single space), while others prefer the 1.25” margin rather than the 1” margin. Some prefer 5 space indents, while others use 3 space indents, while others use full block style.

This is just a short rant as I return to working on the anthology. It has grown a bit larger than I expected, with more work than I anticipated. It will, however, get done.

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Filed under Editing, tip, Writer