Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Editing Stained Glass Summer

on October 20, 2011

I’ve been working on edits for my upcoming novel, STAINED GLASS SUMMER. (December 2011). The manuscript is in the line-edit/ copy edit stage, and I am thrilled to be working with a great editor!  She is really helping to put the shine on this manuscript! As I work through my editor’s notes, I’m finding some patterns.

1. Delete tags as much as possible. Tags are “He said” and “She said.”

2. Check for Filter Words: Delete “I know,” or “I can see that.” These phrases take the reader out of the immediacy and intimacy of being in my main character’s Jasmine’s voice. My advisor, Liza Ketchum, said a similiar thing when working on my thesis during my third semester of Vermont College. Here’s a great blog posting about “filter words”

http://writeitsideways.com/are-these-filter-words-weakening-your-fiction/

3. Check for repetitive words. My two favorite words in this manuscript seem to be “point” and “smile.” I solved this by doing a “search” of the manuscript for those words, and then replacing or rewriting the sentences as much as I can.

4. Consistency! One downfall of this manuscript is it’s been in many, many different versions. Jasmine has been fifteen, fourteen, and twelve. Sammy has been ages seven and five. The story has been told in first person present, first person past, third person past, and then back again to first person present. All of this adds to up to a lot of little spots in the story which aren’t consistent. Thankfully, my editor has eagle eyes and picks those up! I think, for me, this story is so familiar, I don’t even read those places in the manuscript anymore! I read what I think is on the page, rather than what IS on the page.

5. Age relevancy. This goes along with consistency. There were a couple places in the manuscript where Jasmine does or says things which are too old for her at age twelve. One noticeable place was when she drinks lattes in the Seattle airport. In my early versions of this story, Jasmine was a smart, saucy teen. Lattes seemed relevant. At a very innocent age twelve, lattes are no longer work. So, now Jasmine drinks Italian sodas! I actually stole this idea directly from an experience I had with my mentee about a month ago. We went to a writer’s cafe to work on an interview for the Musa Blogs. I asked her what she wanted to drink, and she told me she’d never had an Italian soda. So, we both ordered Italian sodas. My mentee is eleven. Jasmine is twelve.

I’m learning a lot as I work through the edits, and I’m sure that will transfer into editing my next novel, WEAVING MAGIC. (April 27, 2012)

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2 responses to “Editing Stained Glass Summer

  1. Dawn M. Turner says:

    I loved reading this, Mindy! ;o)

  2. Dawn M. Turner says:

    And I can’t wait for the book to be available! ;o)

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