Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cjpetterson@gmail.com cj

Sunday, June 9, 2024

The magic of editing

cj Sez: I'm sure I've told you this before, but the story never gets old. Did you ever open a book, read a few chapters (or even a few lines), then discover errata, i.e.; those typos and misspellings that drive a pedantic like me up a wall. One or two will make me shake my head; gremlins happen. A lot of them will stop me in my tracks.

 
 Perhaps it comes down to the time it takes to do a detailed copy edit vs. getting the book on the market as fast as possible.

(Copy editing is the process of reviewing and correcting written material to improve accuracy, readability, and fitness for its purpose, and to ensure that it is free of error, omission, inconsistency, and repetition.)

  Speaking from experience, self-edits and beta readers don’t catch everything that a professional copy editor will.

  When I was gainfully employed, one of my report/column-writing rules was to get as many people as possible to read the document for accuracy and gremlins. The more eyes on it the better the end product. That wasn’t easy to do as I was always on the clock to deliver the corporation’s news via electronic distribution by eleven a.m. every day, and reading my work wasn’t on the top of someone else’s to-do list.

  That bit about the more eyes? The same thing is true for an author’s manuscript. But first, I, me, personally, do extensive self-edits. I want my manuscript to be the best I can make it before I pass it off to someone else. 

  I read the document on the computer screen then print a few pages and edit them in ink. (The font looks slightly different on the printed page and gremlins tend to show up better.) 

  Next I read the pages out loud. It’s amazing how quickly I’ll find the missing comma, period, or quotation mark that I keep overlooking, and, more importantly, I’ll also discover confusing narrative and awkward dialogue. 

  After all that, I can be sure there is still a gremlin to be found by my editor.

  My advice to authors: Don’t presume that because you’ve typed “The End,” your manuscript is finished. It’s probably weeks if not months away from publication. It needs fresh eyes. It’s a personal and financial consideration for each author, but please consider hiring a copy editor if you can afford it.  


  Caveat: Expect that if your manuscript is accepted by a publisher, their punctuation rules for how they want their publication to look may differ from your copy editor’s input. There could be, probably will be, more changes to be made.

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Readers and Writers: Titles for your stack of have-to-read books

Buy Callahan now
  Book 5 of Rebecca Barrett’s Cat Callahan Mystery series is now available. 

  Here’s an excerpt of a 5-star Amazon review for CAT CALLAHAN AND THE SPY: 

  “Loved the mystery, the characters had me laughing and seeing a mystery solved through the eyes of a cat, well that is always an intriguing experience. A thoroughly enjoyable read.”

 
  And mark your calendar to watch for the third book in Carrie Dalby’s Washington Square Secrets series. 


  From Dalby’s author page: “WASHINGTON SQUARE SECRETS is a historical Southern Gothic series with a paranormal/parapsychology slant by Carrie Dalby. Rather than an ongoing saga, Washington Square Secrets consists of stand-alone novels with the Mobile, Alabama, neighborhood and overlapping characters in common. Return to old Mobile–or visit for the first time–and get to know the charm and hostilities within this bay front city with small town vibes. LOYALTY: WASHINGTON SQUARE SECRETS 3 releases August 27, 2024.”
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  By the by, as the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book you want to promote with a blog, let me know. We can arrange a date. The only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

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  Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you and yours. P.S. I sure do hope there are no gremlins in this post.)

cj

Now some words from my sponsors:

  Father’s Day is coming up—Lyrical Pens suggests books, the gift that keeps on giving.

  Beach? Mountains? StayCay? It’s time to plan for those holiday and summer vacation downtime moments when you can lose yourself in a book. THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.


  Nota bene: Angela Trigg, the RITA Award-winning author and owner of The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my paperback books in stock. TO ORDER, contact: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us 

➜ Follow me on        
➜ Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Word Usage: Six of one, half dozen of another

cj Sez: I was doing some more rabbit hole searches to confirm a word usage in my work-in-progress and found tons of instances of questionable word usage. Inspired by a recent Facebook meme friend posted, today I’ll share a few examples of what I found—because I have to admit to being a bit of a grammar nerd.


(p.s. The result verbiage are excerpts from the various internet sources.)
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Further and farther
People often use both further and farther to mean “more distant.”
Further can be an adverb, an adjective, or a verb, meaning “additional.”
Further as a verb: “He’d do anything to further his own interests at the company.”

Farther means “at or to a greater distance” and cannot be used as a verb.
In Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys says: “And some boats, like me, seemed to float farther and farther from land.”

Are further and farther impossible to tell apart from one another? If you remember that only further can mean “moreover,” you shouldn’t have much difficulty.

Than and then
The word than is used for comparisons to show who or what something is compared against. For example, “cats are smarter than dogs.” The word then is used to show time, as in “at that time” or “after that happened.” For example, “I exercised then took a shower.”

Past and passed
Past refers to time or events that have already happened, while passed is the past tense of the verb pass and is used to indicate completed actions or events. For example, “She finally passed the driving test, leaving all her doubts in the past.”

This and that
This, that, these, and those are demonstratives. We use this, that, these and those to point to people and things. This and that are singular. These and those are plural. We use them as determiners and pronouns.

Versus vs. verses
Versus is a preposition that refers to comparing two or more things or being against something. There are many advantages of a gasoline car versus a diesel car (and now we have to also compare both of those versus an electric or hybrid car).

Verses is a noun that refers to the lines of a poem or song. It is the plural form of the word verse. The verses of the poem “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth are eternally famous and enjoyable.

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Stephen King: “Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent.”

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  Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you and yours.

cj

Now some words from my sponsors:

  Beach? Mountains? StayCay? It’s time to plan for those holiday and summer vacation downtime moments when you can lose yourself in a book. THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore.


Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

  Nota bene: Angela Trigg, the RITA Award-winning author and owner of The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my paperback books in stock. TO ORDER, contact: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us

➜ Follow me on        
➜ Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6