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Writing is about stringing words together to tell a story.

Good writing is about doing that in a way that speaks to the heart of the reader, drawing them in, and not letting go.

If you need the truth of it, it’s the massive hours spent editing that make your story come alive.

This is where you have to put on all your hats.

You edit the general story, scenes, and flow of the story itself. Pick apart the details, add and remove them, and research little things that seem unimportant but are important to the reader who knows more about it than you.

You edit for grammar and sentence structure, wondering if you could pass a fifth grade English Language Arts test.

You become a copy editor, seeking every wayward character, backwards quotation mark, and researching the proper usage of the “. . .” Character.

Most importantly is the careful picking apart and nitpicking of the little details in your choice of words.

There is something to be said for the words you use. Careful choice of words changes the meaning and tone.

Here (excerpt from Where the Bodies Are below), I changed “with” to “to”. Because, when people are gathered, eager for news, they are not really talking with someone. With implies a shared moment, not the shallow moment they are in. They would be talking to each other. Talking at each other. Any response is irrelevant unless it feeds the yearning for more juicy gossip.

“The normally empty foyer is filled with people, most of them talking animatedly or looking around eagerly for someone to talk animatedly to.”

Where the Bodies Are and the subsequent books in the series are currently in transition, being revised and edited to return better and bolder.

As a writer, you never stop seeking to improve your craft. And, what you wrote years ago is not going to meet the quality of your writing today. Given the chance, I am taking the McAllister series and putting that improved skill to work, improving on the flow and feel of these stories.

Watch for the rerelease of Where the Bodies Are.

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March Madness – I’m Going to Finish this Damned WIP if it Bloody Well Kills Me!

By L. V. Gaudet

Written February 29, 2012

It’s only one more sleep to March, and kind of a cheat day since today isn’t really supposed to happen, at least not 4 out of 5 years it isn’t.

It’s February 29th and leap day!

It’s also been three months since the insanity of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  For those who don’t know, this is a month of madness.  30 days of writing mayhem, where writers such as myself, who are suffering from bouts of derangement try to write an entire 50,000 word novel from start to finish in only 30 days.

This year I decided to make March Special.

I am declaring March to be a new month of madness.  I’ll lovingly call it “I’m Going to Finish this Damned WIP if it Bloody Well Kills Me!” month, or IGFDWBWKM month.  Okay, so the anagram needs work; a lot of work.  So to make it easier I’ll just refer to it as March Madness.

The idea is to take that energy you poured into November’s NaNo challenge, but with what should be a much less daunting (and less insane) task.  Take that one WIP that is driving you really nuts, nagging at you, pecking at you, and just plain annoying the hell out of you because you just want to finish it already.  And, finish it.  Just like that.  You even get an extra day because March has 31 days in it.

Finish outlining ahead if possible (I’ve been hashing out the end of the outline for mine for the last couple of weeks).

There is no word count goal because it doesn’t matter how far along you are, and every story will end up being exactly the length it needs to be.

There is only one goal – finishing that damned WIP if it bloody well kills you.  You win if you can comfortably say you finished that damned WIP without your inner guilt demons laughing at you for lying.  The prize is that feel good feeling of finally getting that thing off your back and being able to say, “Hey, I finally finished the bloody thing!”

With me?

Tomorrow is day one.  Tomorrow I start typing and I’m Going to Finish this Damned WIP if it Bloody Well Kills Me!

It’s madness, yes, but it is March.

I may even tease with a few excerpts of this nasty novel of kidnapping, murder, and assorted mayhem.

 

*** HOLY HANNAH THIS IS MY 100TH POST ON WORDPRESS! ***

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