Tag Archives: editing

Debacles and Other Words I Can’t Spell

I’ve been editing this week–like, seriously in the trenches where my editor points out I used look too frequently and so I replace one such occurrence with gazed and search to see where the next nearest gaze falls and it’s too close, so I try peered, but there’s a jeered nearby and it’s too rhymey, so I change it to glanced but glanced at his pants sounds like I ripped it from Dr. Seuss, so I rewrite it to say He picked his nose, because that hasn’t happened yet, I’m quite sure of it, but I’ve already substituted one of a billion pulls for a pick and it’s right. Freakin’. There. FUCK ME! Go back to the start…back. Didn’t I just read that word? I type it into my find box, the entire screen lights up like the Fourth of July, and my head explodes.

This sort of dog-chasing-its-tail crap. All day. For days and days.

Okay. Enough complaining, because the good thing about editing is I’m sending round one (the biggest, baddest round, really) off today after a final spellcheck. And my editor made some glowing comments about Balancing Act (she hasn’t even read Hard Act to Follow and loved Kyrie and Greg’s 2nd installment–so happiness and confetti!).

Oh, and the other great thing about editing?  I missed the latest M/M brouhaha while my eyes were bleeding. Score!

Truly, as much as I enjoy the gossipy aspect of poring over posts and comments and wasting my entire day, I’m happy I (mostly) missed it.

The mostly is because I did happened upon Alexis Hall’s post last night. I decided his lovely breakdown of  the situation was all I really needed, so pardon me if I’m less informed than I should be to write a post alluding to this shit show. 🙂 I’m assuming he outlined the basics, and I’m only weighing in on one minor topic here.

It’s late, and my head exploded earlier, remember?

Anyway, AH’s post reminded me I’d been meaning to take a Kinsey test for years now, but had avoided it because who likes tests? I did it, though (after opening the link and wishing aloud it wasn’t too long). Score again! It was super short, and it turns out I’m bisexual! Sleep with a few girls in your wild and single years and you get a label (and not the “slut” one I usually identified with–hey, I owned it so it didn’t own me).

Kinsey

 

I don’t care in the slightest about labels. I’ve always gone with mostly straight (with plenty of room for persuasion), but I’ve been married to my lovin’ man for, well, forever now, so mostly straight suits fine.

Oh, and while I’m on the bi train, this is a fun site to click around, full of stuff and things. Ride on the bi train, ooo ahhh eeee ahhh ooo ah!

So, my point, if ever I could make one, was AH’s post reminded me of an old review of Forever is Now. Basically, someone had taken offense to my use of “sexual preference.” I immediately asked the only guy (at the time) in the M/M crit group I was in if he thought it was offensive. He didn’t, but said he could see why some people might dislike it. I vowed to never use it again, but had a niggle about why. Of course I don’t want to offend readers. Ever. Times change and perfectly serviceable terms from back in the day become hate speech every so often. It happens, and I try to keep on top of the evolution of language as much as possible.

But my sexuality has always been a thing I decide on. I decided long ago that I mostly like men, and occasionally like women depending on…well, I guess the usual considerations. Personality. Intelligence. Looks. How much alcohol I’d consumed. Never have I hooked up with a random woman at a party (unlike men). They’ve all been women I was friends with. Loved or at least liked a whole hell of a lot. So, clearly there were other factors at play there–a deeper connection than purely physical.

But to act like preference didn’t have a part is silly. Of course it did. I prefer men in the grand scheme of things. I chose a man to hitch my cart to for better or worse. But I could have chosen a woman if the right one had come along and knocked my socks off.

And I’m not saying (and I won’t reiterate AH’s thoughts about gay kids of religious families who grew up having the “IT’S A CHOICE AND YOU’RE MAKING THE WRONG ONE” drilled into them) that some people will (and should) dislike that terminology. I’m just saying it applies to  me and maybe other people, too. I’m going to avoid it out of consideration for those it bothers, but I don’t hate it either. <Plunks down 2 cents.>

 

Okay.

Enough philosophy for one day. I just sent those edits and now I’m going to go exercise this ass so it remains appealing to members of both sexes, you know, depending where they are on the Kinsey scale.

 

-Kimber

 

 

 


If Rain Is What You Want #editorsblock

So, November is going full steam ahead and I am full stop on my NaNo project. Hardly surprising. I always plan to fail (even if I don’t fail to plan). Thing is, I finished my last project at the beginning of the month, and after a couple of weeks letting it simmer I’m always anxious to dive back into the polishing business.

Oh, and it was going so smoothly. Seems I’d already re-read the first half a couple of times as I’d gone back to add/change scenes later on. The editing was breezy. I’d also had a much easier time writing that first half. At the halfway point, though, I hit the wall and my editing slowed to three pages in two hours. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. It wasn’t that it was so poorly written, it just was so not perfectly executed. Something was off.

It made sense. That spot was the same wall I’d started slamming my head into during the writing process (the first in a number of walls). It’s the wall that slowed me to a crawl and had me doubting whether or not I was wasting my time on this project; a sad scene and subsequent sex scene that had me thinking maybe I’m all set writing smut for now. Maybe I need a new genre, because I just don’t want to make this happen.

Yup, this book has been a toothpuller, but I’ve had a tough time trying to put a finger on what wasn’t working. For one, the subject matter is somewhat darkish–and I love dark, don’t get me wrong–but it’s been hard to balance the dark with romance and have it be believable. Or maybe my version of believable involves not so much sex because my one MCs has more issues than Time Magazine, and believable isn’t romantic. But wait, there is romance. And there’s even sex. It just isn’t dripping off the pages. Sometimes I get the feeling a lot of readers want wall to wall sex. You know, except for the readers who hate it.

The scene I got to today was a sad one, but my MCs are more on the fringes of the sadness–close so it affects them, but it isn’t their tragedy to own, more to watch and empathize with. Right on the heels of that is a sex scene (more or less–those are rather sparse and slow building in this book, too, which is another reason I keep wondering if I’m only screwing myself here. God knows my MCs aren’t doing much of it).

But I’m currently reading Josh Lanyon’s book on writing MM romance, and there was a little blip about how sex when people are physically injured is dumb (paraphrasing here, and no, that is not the case in my book, and yes, it is dumb) and another blip about how surviving a near death experience can be bonifying (again, paraphrasing, and also making up words). This is closer to what’s going on in my book. No, my guys don’t almost die in that particular scene, but there is a pall of death, I guess, that clouds most of the book (I know I’m really selling it here. Admit it–you’re dying to read this book! Dying. Tee hee.). Survival is a key theme, and for that reason I think I was able to twist my original scene around so it works. I think. I hope.

Of course, that’s only one wall. Plenty more where that came from. I’ll be lucky if I finish my first pass this week and then get back to dropping more words in my pathetically bereft NaNo bucket as planned.

Anyway, stay tuned for next time when I second-guess my work some more and admit to completely flunking NaNo most shitastically (told you I was planning to fail).

Oh, and enjoy this song. It’s perfect for my current editing WIP playlist. Per-fucking-fect.


The Next Big Thing

God, I love big things!  The fantastic J. Marie Ravenshaw, horror and erotica author extraordinaire, was sweet enough to tag me in The Next Big Thing.  If you’re not down with the blogingo, this game involves the taggee answering questions on his/her newest work in progress, and then tagging 5 more authors to do the same.

J. Marie did one hell of a rundown on her story, L’Escalier du Diable (The Devil’s Stairway), an erotic horror book (FUN!).  I am definitely looking forward to reading it when it comes out!

Now, I’m not sure I can do as comprehensive a job on my Next Big Thing post, but I’ll chalk my cue and give it a shot…

1. Name of my newest book:

It actually pains me to write it, as I recently changed it when another M/M rock star erotica book came out with a very similar name.  It was kinda like renaming a child after he’s been around for a few years: weird and sad.  Anyway, the current title is “Rock and Hard Places.”  Nobody freakin’ steal it or I will come after you with a meat cleaver!

2. Where did my idea come from?

I’m happy to say that it evolved from a fantastic spring/summer of concert-going. 🙂  I love my dual eye/ear candy and wanted to write about something that interests and inspires me in such an extreme way: bad-ass guys with guitars.

3.  What genre is my book?

Male/male contemporary erotic romance.

4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Matthew Bomer

Matthew Bomer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oooo.  Well my actor for Alex Bremen is easy: Matt Bomer (with all of his muscles on) 😉  By the way, Matt Bomer could be straight as a pin, and he would still be perfect as Alex–exactly the gorgeous guy I pictured.

My rock star, Chance Ralan, is a bit tougher to peg.  I’m going to go with Josh Holloway.  He’ll need green contacts, black dyed hair with an inch of blond roots, and guyliner.

English: kristin.eonline.com - Comic-Con 2009 ...

English: kristin.eonline.com – Comic-Con 2009 – “Lost” Press Room – San Diego – July 25, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, both of my chosen actors are older than my late 20-something boys in the book, but, hey, it’s my hypothetical movie.

I also have a host of fun secondary characters, but I can’t spend that much time picking them out of the IMDb data base right now.  If Hollywood comes knocking, I’ll reconsider.

5. One line synopsis of my book:

Alex Bremen, journalist and documentary film producer, seeks out his rock star ex-boyfriend for revenge, but will  a rekindled romance spell disaster?

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  I hope to publish with an erotica e-publisher when I’m done with edits.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  I cranked the first 29K out in a matter of weeks–couldn’t type fast enough once these guys got in my head.  I broke for a number of side projects (round of edits on another MS, multiple short stories) and then got back on that horse.  I would say, about 2 months start to finish.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I have yet to read any rock star gay romances, although I see a few are out there.  I am a huge KA Mitchell fan and like to think readers who enjoy her books would like mine.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?  Wait a minute…didn’t I answer this?

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  Well, my bad boy Chance is a bit of a stone-cold asshole sometimes, but it’s tough not to love him anyway (as Alex well knows).  I like to think of him as my gay guy alter ego.  There is drinking, excessive cursing, tons of snark, and a dash or two of angst.  Oh, and hot-hot-hot man sex.

Yay!  I did it!  Now I have to tag 5 others…

I’ll mix it up with The Reclining Gentleman, JC Cassels, A Talk Behind Closed Doors, Alice Dark, and, finally, The Hook–who better be working on some new material by now. 🙂


Editing Kama Sutra: My Top Ten List

Written for idiots by an idiot.  “Hi.  My name is Kimber, and I am an editing jerk.”  The first step is admitting you have a problem.  Trust me, I think I am allergic to editing.  Every time I have a finished product (at least of the longer variety) I invariably break out in an abnormally short attention span and the intense itch to write something, anything else in order to avoid the inevitable.

It truly is idiotic.  Spend months, even years, on a project and then leave it to collect dust in my C drive because I don’t want to put the final weeks of work in?  What the hell is up with that?

Well, since I have grabbed the editing bull by the balls this past week, I figured I would compile a list of ideas to A) Capitalize on those popular “list” ideas that everyone seems to be rocking on their blogs, B) Maintain my editing momentum while very craftily taking a break from editing, and C) inspire others to proof read in new and exciting ways (You want fries with that).

So without further ado…

1.  Sit your butt down and read it over once.  This one sucks and is the most intimidating to me.  You will have to address all those plot holes, clunky turns of phrase, and the spots where you just kept writing to get to the next exciting scene.  You hated writing it, now you loath reading it, and guess what? Your future readers will think it blows goats, too.  Fix it.

2.  So glad that part is done.  Now change your fonts, or print it out, and read it again.  Personally, I refuse to use the ink and paper.  I can hear the trees and squids screaming even as I type this.  Of course, my eyes bug from all that computer reading.  I got a pair of yellow-tinted aviator glasses that cut back on some of the blue waves.  They also make me look and feel wicked cool when I am editing.  Especially since I put them on over my prescription glasses.  I know you’re jealous.

You are probably getting bored now with the whole story.  While you are reading any of your work, make a master list of mistakes you make frequently.  I recently substituted “pole” for “poll” and “rein” for “reign.”  Both were during December, so I could blame Santa-itis, but I will add them to my list because I can’t blame the fat elf if I do it again in July.

3.  Sooner or later you will have a long, lovely list of embarrassing mistakes you trip over time, and time again.  Use that handy-dandy FIND and/or REPLACE function in the right-hand corner of your word doc and seek those little buggers out with a flame thrower.

4. Put that baby on your Kindle.  If you don’t have an e-reader, well, duh, get one.  Amazon has an easy-enough how-to page for doing this.  Or Google it.  The meat and potatoes are; you can use their WiFi to transfer documents for a charge, or you can convert to a PDF and plug your device in.  Open the device storage bank thingy (You want a computer nerd?  You’re fleecing the wrong sheep.  You want advice on Kama Sutra, managing your chronic illness, or how to grow Hemerocallis from seed; I’m your girl).  Open your computer drive with your document and click and drag it over.  I found that the type was ant-sized after I did this.  I changed my font to about 20 on the PDF, transferred it, and then I was winning.

5.  Read it out loud.  Do it for your lover, your dog, or that freaky stuffed clown in your grandparent’s basement.  Alternatively, or perhaps additionally, have your significant other, your talking dog, or the clown read it out loud to you.  If the dog does it, suddenly your book will seem a perfect fit for the children’s section of your library.  The clown automatically makes it erotic, of course.

6. Get a grammar checker.  These seem to stretch far and wide in terms of price and ability.  I recently picked up the White Smoke version and so far do not believe they were just blowing white smoke up my ass.  It acts a little glitchy, but I may need to ram up my ram.  Ouch.  It makes me go over things nice and slow, which definitely helps pick up on the missing words and overused phrases (Who, me?  Trite and clichéd?  I don’t know the meanings of the words).

7.  Make your friends read it, but only after you’ve done a fair job of looking it over.  Otherwise, even the best intentioned BFF will get freakin’ sick of you if you keep sending her steaming piles of literary dog shit.  I know this.  I am probably one pile of crap away from having my half-a-heart necklace with “BE FRI” stamped on it thrown back in my face.

8.  Make your enemies read it.  Tie them up and torture them if need be.  They probably won’t offer a ton of constructive criticism, but it will be an entertaining and much-needed break for you.  After all, by number eight you’ve been working your editing ass off.  Show your asshole neighbor the meaning of a bad night.  You deserve it!

9.  Stand on your head and read it one last time.  Try not to throw up; it will go up your nose.

10.  Format in compliance with your target publisher.  For the love of all that is sweet and fattening, refrain from slitting your wrists as you catch sight of the same-old sentences once again.

11.  Oh, look.  We got to eleven!  Congratulations!  Send that MF on its way, and (finally) get cracking on something fun, fresh, and new.  At least, it will be the first couple of times around… Rinse and repeat.


Too drunk to what?

You know that Buck Cherry song, right?  The one that makes you cringe because their first hit was so smokin’-eighties-hair-band-hot that you figured they were good for more of the same?  Well, they weren’t, apparently.  And yet, I think of this sophomoric offering as I consider editing today.  Too drunk to what????  Edit.  No, never what they say in the song.  I’m a chick, after all.  The alcohol only makes it (me) easier, baby.  Not getting off, necessarily, but drink enough and I just don’t care if it ‘happens.’  I’ll take care of that tomorrow in my free time.

The thing is that I like a little cocktail (juvenile snicker) while I’m writing.  But it is such a fine line between writing and drinking, and editing and drinking that I frequently get off-balance.  I can write just smurfy while drinking.  I hate sitting down with a fresh one and realizing that my job today is to edit.  I fuckin’ hate editing anyway.  I need a computer program that takes all of my intoxicated butchering of the English language and crams it into a borderline insane yet genius-clairvoyant perfect package.  I would pay quadruple the Scrivener price for that.  Make me pretty on paper, Scrivener!  Fix my typos while I type.  Now that would be an invention.

Without the work. 

While you’re at it, I want to push a format button on each submission site that will automatically make my piece exactly the way the editors want it, minus the 1-2 hours of my time.  Just plug-in your name, story title, yada yada yada and the rest is done for you.  Because (don’t tell anyone), I am not all that computer savvy and nearly everyone wants it at least a little bit different.

Shocking.  I know.  You all thought I was a tech nerd.

It takes me at least two tries to turn on my cell phone and realize it isn’t charged.


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