Tag Archives: edits

Naked Alliances Coming Out of the Closet

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Not reading. Not writing. Lying in wait. In a place of limbo. With nothing much to do.

I have a couple of new beta readers. A man who works with the rocket scientist wants to read, and a nice lady in the Caribbean who has written a crime fiction book. That brings the total to twelve.

I threw the net wide. A dozen opinions. I won’t be taking anymore. I thank you all for your participation!

I took two more readers because two potential readers, a male and a female, have said the book is not for them, and that’s okay. It is not a book for everybody. I knew that going in. Everybody who has provided feedback loves Brandi, she’s a kick arse companion. (She’s been compared to Chablis in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.) Richard is a likable character and the Dragon Lady is despicable.

Those are three things I wanted to accomplish with book one. Most have found it thoroughly enjoyable, a few have called it, “A great read,” and all who have read said it was entertaining and they liked it.

With two ones (I’m assuming because they could not read), and four solid fours, and two fives, my average for this book sits at 3.5 and I just don’t think that’s good enough. But, if I drop the two who could not read, it sits at 4.3 and that might be worth publishing.

Several mentioned that they enjoyed the characters enough to want to read more and would love to read the next book in the series, so that’s a big positive!

There were no plot hole, continuity or plausibility issues that couldn’t be easily resolved. Very minor things that just make the read a bit better. Nothing requiring any major rewrites.

We’ll see what the next four say based on the editing. I am also taking into consideration that these readers are not typical of Florida regional crime fiction audience. Only one reads it regularly. (Even though he was one of the fives.)

The edits have been done based on eight reader’s feedback and there are four more to go.

Most all of the narrative slang has been pulled out and put into dialog.

I reread it over the weekend with all of the fleshing out and editing and my only problem is that the things that seemed funny when I wrote them don’t amuse me anymore and sometimes they seem silly and trite, but I wonder if that’s because I already know the outcome. It’s hard to go back and read your own laughs. There are parts that seem tacky, even offensive. But my husband also reread it and he was laughing out loud.

I am not nearly as clever as some of the wacko regional Florida authors I have read, but in many ways I feel it is better than some.

Here is an interesting observation to leave you with: Most of the men liked the nudity in the story and wanted to see more references to it and most of the women said it was distracting and sort of pulled them out of the story.

So that’s a wrap on where we are with Naked Alliances today.

I should have the final wrap up next week.

Progress Update: Naked Alliances, First Round

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I am so far behind with television recorded on my DVR that I have to fast forward through Christmas commercials. Seriously, tried to watch an episode of NCIS with my husband last night and I am like, “Who are all these new people?”

That shows how writing dedicated I am. It has been my focus since the beginning of May. I started this wip in November, put it aside to work on another project, and picked this back up in May. Working every day, sometimes sixteen to eighteen hours non-stop, I had the fish bone skeleton fleshed out on June 8th.

detour_signThat’s what I am calling the first draft. I finally let the rocket scientist, my alpha reader and crime novel aficionado, read it. I was sorely disappointed when he scored me a two out of five. First I did the proofreading edits required, and then I set about fixing a few things and breathing some more life into this animal.

He didn’t like the opening. So I rewrote it. I shared it with my writers’ group and they loved it. Doing so did raise a question in my mind though. Having two predominate plots, with both of them introduced in the first chapter leads the reader to believe they may be more connected than they are. There is character connection, but they aren’t connected by many plot elements. A few, but I’m not sure if they are enough to satisfy the reader in the end.

He’s not bothered by the POV switching for Richard and Brandi, the private investigator and his sidekick, but third changeperson limited narration is not what he is most familiar with. He’s likes third person omniscient best. I’m not changing that because it isn’t really possible without a complete rewrite, and there are so many times that Richard and Brandi are not together it is necessary. When they are together, I try to stick with one POV or the other to avoid head-hopping…but it does sort of result in third person omniscient. I’m not really seeing that as problematic on the revisions.

I felt I already had too many characters, but the RS felt I needed more. Richard is supposed to be somewhat of a loner, and likes to work alone. The RS said not having many friends, neighbors or associates made him less personable, hard to sidle up with. So I did what I could to work a few more into the story. I really like the result.

magicianThe RS also said that Richard needed more of a personal life. I didn’t want volumes of backstory on Richard…and his situation is really keeping him too busy for much of a social life, but I did what I could to round him out a bit better. Maybe that needs more work. I don’t want to severely change his persona though. And I don’t want a lot of ancillary side tracking not related to plot. But I think I have managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat on this one.

I am also in the process of adding another action chapter into a spot that lulled. It is the first time that Richard and Brandi are working actively together and I think I can do this in a way that will make both of their unique personalities shine.

With what I have pumped into this second draft, the additional chapters and revisions, adding characters and giving my MC a bit more of a life, I have drastically altered several scenes.

The RS loved the last few chapters and the ending elements, so I’m not tampering with that.

I will have 30 chapters, and have already reached 64,616 words without the chapter I am in the process of stop signadding. After this, I have a few more chapters to tweak and fine tune and it will be ready for another pass by the rocket scientist. He’s good at proofreading and I want it up to par when I send it to beta readers. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to do that next week.

I am looking to having two read and see what else I need to adjust, and then I’ll try with two more.

I know it is about progress, not perfection, but I would like for this to be the best it can be.

Then, I can start on Book Two…it is already scratching and clawing its way through my brain and itching to come out.

“Red Clay and Roses” Revised and edited eversion available!

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New eversion with edits offered on “Red Clay and Roses”.  After reading the book in print in preparation for the upcoming paperback, I have updated the Kindle version.  The smashwords version will be updated soon as well.  It is easy to update if you have already purchased the book.

Just go to Amazon customer service chat box and let them know that an author has updated a book that you already own.  They will direct you to delete the book and they will automatically update.  It just takes a few seconds.

My apologies to those who have already purchased the book.  The update offers some revisions to phrases and some minor edits that made the book a better read, IMHO.

It is quite a challenge to cover such a long time period in one book, but you will find the update makes the flow much easier to follow.  It wasn’t difficult to begin with, just needed tweaking.

Thank you for your patience with me.