Tag Archive: editing



THE SHIP - COVER Final

Due to the painful situation my family is facing (my father-in-law is dying of cancer), I’ve decided to push back the release of my second novel “The Ship” until December of this year.

 

Originally, I planned on releasing it in October.  And I will be making sure the book is available in Trade Paperback as well as all e-book formats such as Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, etc. at that time.  I want everyone who wants a copy to be able to get one in the format they need.

 

I will also be taking great care to make sure the book is properly formatted and professionally edited.  Most of my readers did not mind, but I want to make sure I’m delivering a great product as well as a really good story.

 

I apologize to any fans who are waiting to get their hands on this new book, which follows the events of my first paranormal/mystery “The Bridge”.  I will release samples from the second book in the Para-Earth Series to help tide you all over.

 

Thanks for your patience and support.  Take care and keep writing.

 


Okay fellow writers, here’s a question for you all.  How many of  you find yourselves working and reworking a scene because something just isn’t right?  In your mind, you know what you’d like to happen, but something just doesn’t seem to be working right.  You make a change here, then a slight a tweek there and suddenly everything goes KAFLOOEY!    You suddenly hit a dead end, or the entire plot has taken a detour to No-wheres-ville.  When this happens to me, I get the same feelings I had whenever I tried to solve a Rubik’s Cube.  I know all the parts and where I think they should go, but they’re just not in the right spot.  And trying to get them in their proper place can be a nightmare some days.

Now this has happened to me on a number of occasions.  Some people tell me to have an outline, but that never works for me.  Why?  Because my characters start going in other directions by saying or doing things I hadn’t originally planned.  Admittedly I let them get away with it, but only if what they’re doing seems to be working better than what I originally planned.  Sometimes this works, but not always.  When it doesn’t I do one of two things:  I’ll delete it completely and try again OR  I’ll save the scene in a separate folder on my computer.  You never know when an unused scene can be useful later in your present story, or could wind up being perfect for another book entirely.

Personally, I kind of like it when I can just delete the scene because then I get to point and laugh at my characters saying, “See?  I told you this wasn’t going to work… NEENER-NEENER.”   Unfortunately, I tend to do this out loud and get some really strange looks from anyone within a 30 foot radius.    It’s at this point my unseen characters got to point and laugh right back at me, which is really annoying because they know I still need them and can’t kill them off.  Damn, my creations can be annoying at times.

Anyway, getting back to my original point.  Writing a scene can be quite frustrating and difficult at times.  But, there are many ways   of tackling this problem:

-You might change who’s in the scene, keep the ones who are most poignant and add someone else from the cast.  This can change the tension levels and the entire feel of the moment.

-Change the location where the action is happening.  Maybe the setting is the problem and you can get more out of a different location.

-Is a major piece of information about to be revealed in this scene?   If so how much of it do you really have to unveil at this moment?  Maybe you should only reveal a portion of the information.  You can whet the appetite of both the characters and the audience with this method.  By doing this your characters can go off half-cocked, which can make for some very interesting scenes as they make any number of mistakes or jump to wrong conclusions.  I personally like this because the character who isn’t perfect, and learns from their mistakes, is someone the audience can really relate to sometimes.  On the other hand the characters can aware that something is still missing and we can follow their efforts to learn more which can lead to some very tense and exciting scenes as well.

So, don’t be afraid to tear apart a scene that’s frustrating you.   Try some really different ways of reworking it.  And if you find yourself still hitting a wall, ask yourself  if the scene is truly relevant in that particular point of the story.  Maybe it can be replaced by an entirely different scene that can serve a similar purpose.    Who knows, you may wind up with something that opens new avenues for your plot that are even more interesting than what you originally had in mind.

What other methods or tricks have you come up with?  I’m sure everyone reading this would be  interested because we’re all trying learn from one another when it comes to writing.  So please leave your experiences and suggestions down in the comments section below.

And for the record,I did finally defeat the dreaded Rubik’s Cube.  Mind you I did not remove the decals and change them around (which is something my wife did when she was kid).  Nor did I take the cube apart and reassemble it so the colors matched up.  What did I do?  Simple, I spray painted the entire thing silver and used it for a paperweight.  A very creative solution, don’t you think?


As you all know I’ve been working on my second and third novels for a while now.  Mostly the second one which has been taking longer than I had anticipated.  At first I wondered why this was so?  I was much more experienced since my first go-round with completing a book.  I’ve learned a lot of the pitfalls and mistakes that can be made by now.  So I should be able to crank this puppy out in no time right?  WRONG!

Now before I proceed, remember I’m only speaking for myself and what I’m experiencing in this process.  I’m still very much on the learning curve and I would love to hear some of your experiences down in the comments section below.  You may very well wind up giving insight to other issues I haven’t thought about yet, which could be very helpful.

Anyway, as I said before the process is taking longer than I’d hoped.  I originally figured I’d be laying down the plot for book four by now, while having book three 2/3’s of the way done.  So what’s been happening?  Why am I working so slowly?  I think it’s several things.

First, folks who’ve read “The Bridge” really loved it even with the imperfect editing job I’d done on my own since I couldn’t afford a professional editor.   Yet the readers were willing to overlook any issues on that front because they were swept up on the story.  Plus they fell in love with the characters and how they interacted (especially with Alex and Veronica).  So, there are high expectations for “The Ship”.  However, I’ve shifted the focus to the second lead couple Julie and Cassandra, and relegated Alex and Veronica to a few brief chapters in the new book.  But what happens to them is still connected to the new story and has major implications for book #3.

So with the shift in attention to Julie and Cassie I’m dealing with a whole new situation.  They have a much different relationship and chemistry.  Alex and Veronica already had long term relationship when we met them.  But Cassie and Julie are just beginning a romantic relationship.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with their story, Julie and Cassie are lesbians.  So right there the dynamics of their interactions are going to be a bit different, and not just because they are both women.  I’m approaching their situation like I would any two people who have just become a couple, but I’m also keeping in mind the added pressure and worries of being gay.  They know there will be those who disapprove of their being together, including some members of their own families.  And I’m trying to make their developing relationship both tender and realistic, rather than a male fantasy where they are just eager to jump into bed with each other.  I want to the audience to see them as real people, not just stereotypes or caricatures.

But I also have to keep the reader engaged by getting them to care about these two young ladies.  So I have to juggle events and scenes in such a way to keep the audience laughing, intrigued and rooting for them while slowly building threat of the approaching danger and mystery that Julie and Cassie are about to become enmeshed in.

Now another issue is the pacing of the story.  People loved how I did it in the first book.  It wasn’t too fast, nor too slow.  And I kept breaking off scenes in such a way as to make the reader eager to turn the page so they could start on the next chapter.   Not as easy as it sounds, at least for me.  But I believe I’m succeeding in keeping this up with the new book.

Another problem is too many details or unnecessary scenes.  This is something I encountered with the first book.  But in that case I didn’t realize how much of a problem it was until after I finished the first draft and then re-read everything.  This time I keep catching the problem as I’m still working on the first draft, which means I go back edit and rewrite as I’m going along.  Or, I’ll find a scene I wrote earlier works better in a section I’m currently working on, so I have to pull it out and move it.  Then I have to go back to where I had it and fix any issues the change made to that area.

Plus there are other issues as well, which I may cover in another entry.  But this gives you a good insight to what’s going on for me as the author.  Again I’d love to hear from some of you about what you’ve encountered with your writing.  I am using a ‘mental’ outline in my head.  I tried writing one out but kept changing it over and over as I went along that it looked more like a bad set of directions that could get the most experienced cartographer to throw up his/her hands in surrender.  Everyone has their own style.  Plus, my characters have a tendency to change the plan as I go along by coming up with alternative ideas that were better than the ones I’d had in mind.

So again I’m making progress, just a bit slower than I’d planned.  How is/was the writing process for you on your 2nd, 3rd or even 7th book?  I’m sure both me and the other readers would love to hear about it.  Please tell us about your experiences in the comments below.  Thanks to tuning in and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all have to say.  Take care and thanks for reading.


I was hoping to avoid this issue, but there is something I wish to address.

Now, with the release of my first novel I’ve gotten good reviews… really good ones.  But there has been one recurring issue namely “errors”.  Now first off, I am not afraid to admit they exist.  There are grammatical errors and whatnot in the book and I’ve done 3 corrections of the entire novel already to eliminate as many as possible.  In the new 2nd edition, there are still some, but from what I’ve been told they are not a lot… thank the heavens.

On the other hand, on FB and elsewhere I’ve had well-meaning people suggest or offer their ‘professional editing’ services.  They bring up the importance of putting out a good product, that it’s my introduction to the audience and world, and how you should never put out a book that isn’t polished to perfection.    And I agree.  It IS important to make sure the story/book you put out is as polished as you can get it.  And I thought I had at first.  I’d had English teachers and people with good eyes catch a good 90% of things I’d overlooked.  But there were still errors that got past all of us.

Yet the words… “A professional editor would’ve caught all of that” comes up fairly often.  So why didn’t I get one.  The answer is simple.  I’m living in poverty.  Every dime my wife and I get goes to keeping a roof over our heads, paying for expensive medicines for our asthma and other chronic health issues, and putting food on the table.  We’ve been surviving on loans and help from family for the last few years, while Helen (my wife) tries to get her B. A. Degree.  I got a A. S. degree a year ago, but that hasn’t helped me on the job front. Most places now want a B. A. for even lower level office work.

I started writing partly to keep my spirits up when everything fell apart  while I was doing estate, which led us to this situation.  And when I finished my novel, I tried my damnedest to get it edited through the avenues available to me.  But I could not, and still cannot, afford to get it redone “professionally”.    And for that, I apologize.  But luckily according to the latest reviewer who gave me the 5 stars, she had the new improved 2nd edition, there aren’t that many errors any more.  And it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the story or the enjoyment of it.  And the fact that all the earlier reviewers still gave it 4 and even a 5 star rating, means I did something right.

I hope by the time my 2nd novel “The Ship” is ready, I can get some more professional editing done.  But if I can’t I’m just going to work twice as hard to make sure the final product is in even better shape than my first book.   It sucks to be in my position and we’re doing what we can.  In time, things will improve.

So I ask everyone who picks up the book, to please forgive its shortcomings.  And for those who are professional editors, please don’t keep offering services I cannot afford or saying how much better the piece could be.  I’m fully aware of it and reminders don’t always help.  Because they don’t just let me know it’s not perfect, it reminds me even more where I’m still at.

How J. K. Rowling managed to get Harry Potter and his friends professionally edited when she was struggling just as badly, I don’t know.  Maybe her publisher helped.  I don’t have one, just myself Createspace and Smashwords.  And they charge a pretty penny as well.

Sorry if this entry is a little bit of a downer, I just wanted everyone to understand why’s and wherefore’s of what I’ve created.  I will try and to better in the future.  And when I can afford it, my work will get the professional treatment.  Until then, bear with me and thanks for all the continuing support.  Please help spread the word that “THE BRIDGE” is out there.  The fact that this book has earned 4 and 5 star ratings, even with its ‘warts’ tells me I’ve created something special.  And I’d like to see it flourish.

If you wish, here is my website where folks can find links to all the different formats of the book, as well as news and updates on the sequels under way:

http://allankrummenacker.wix.com/allan-krummenacker

Thanks again all of you for coming and reading this blog.  And for all the support you’ve given me.  I’ll try to make the next entry more upbeat.  Take care and happy reading everyone.


Hello Everyone.  Sorry for the long delays between posts.  I’m still sharing my laptop with my wife, plus my new job has been keeping me very busy.  I was supposed to have 2 days off in a row this week, then I was told that I had to come in on one of those 2 days to get more training.  Wasn’t happy about it, but I understand the reason.  The trainer is going to be leaving shortly and our time together is drawing to a close very quickly.  HOPEFULLY… things will become a little more steady and regular in a couple of weeks and I can schedule myself to work on my blogging.  So please be patient.

 
In the meantime, I have been able to get some work in on novel #2 “THE SHIP”.  Currently it is sitting at about 65,000 words still, but that’s because I had to go back and look over some earlier portions of the book and do some serious cutting and re-editing.  I’m trying to aim for about 120-140,000 words for the first draft.  The final draft will come in under 100,000 words.  So why the high count you say for the first draft?  Simple, the way I write I want to get the main story down and all the characters on board, as well as all the most interesting actions sequences.  Then when I go to work on the 2nd draft, it’s to start cutting down the word count to something more manageable and acceptable to any potential agents/publishers.  For new authors you have to keep it below 100,000 or even 80-90,000 words to even get considered.  You don’t have a track record of proven sales behind you to get them to cut you some slack on the length.  Look at the length of the first Harry Potter book compared to the later ones and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

 

Also, I love editing my work to see how many times I repeated the same idea since it takes me weeks and months to complete a story.  I have a nasty habit of coming up with the same idea or concept in several different places of the book.  So then I have to decide where does it work the best or at all.  So keeping the draft down to 120-140,000 words is much more manageable to edit for me.  My first novel “THE BRIDGE” was a real monster when I completed the 1st draft.  That one weighed in at 198,000 words.  Then I went and did my research and found out about the length it should be.  If I recall correctly I found a quiet corner in the closet and sobbed hysterically for 2 hours.  Cutting 100,000 words was not easy but I did it.  AND it was worth it.  The final draft that I sent to the agent was much leaner and better paced than the 1st one.  Plus it’s gotten their attention and I’m just waiting for further word on it and what happens next.

 

Oh, I also just recently found out on another front that we’ll be moving soon.  Probably towards the end of July so packing has also been keeping me occupied as well.  I hope to post  here again in a week or so and I’ll give you all another sample of novel #2 “THE SHIP”.  Until then, take care everyone and thanks for reading.

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