Self-editing and Critiquing #6

While some characters have obvious actions and tones of voice others are harder to distinguish. In the novel I’m editing I have a mother daughter combo as main characters. Since they are family my mind made them seem similar, with obvious differences in age, and less obvious differences in their life goals. 

But my beta readers have been saying that it is hard to figure out which one is speaking at which time because they are too similar. I’m trying to figure out the best way to fix this. 

It might be fun to make up some slang words for the daughter to use, but the mother doesn’t. Of course I don’t want to make it harder on the reader either. Making them remember what each word means, or worse look it up each time in a glossary, would take away from the story.

I had been trying to give each character word preferences, and I did make an attempt to have the mother use shorter more statement like sentences.Then again I wrote this during National Novel Writing Month. What I concentrated on one day was completely forgotten the next. I will attempt to add these differences more often throughout the novel, while small I do think they will help. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to go with my back up plan; give my characters catch phrases.


Self-editing and Critiquing #5

I’m in the throws of intense editing, also known as rewriting half a novel. I have found techniques which help make the process smoother, perhaps they can help you as well.

First I choose one scene to work on at a time, trying to look at the others as little as possible until the rewrite is complete.

Second I ask myself what I want to do with this scene. Who I want to introduce, what character development I want to see, and most importantly if I want it to end in an upbeat or a downbeat. 

What is that? When a scene ends with progress toward the characters goal then the scene ends with an upbeat. If a new obstacle appears between the character and their goals the scene ends in a downbeat. If there are too many scenes with one or the other in a row then it’s off putting to the reader which could make them put the book down. 

This brings us to our third point, I have to make sure that the characters current goals are clear to the reader. This can be simple, “His tummy rumbled, ready to devour the next edible object in sight.” Your character realizes he needs to eat, then his goal is to obtain food. These goals can also be complex such as a daughters need of acceptance from her parents. Clear goals are the way to help the reader root for your main character through their trials and tribulations. 

Eight Sentence Sunday #6

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Here are eight sentences from the novel I am currently editing; Moon Murder.

“Enjoy your implant while he lasts. As soon as we get back from the moon you’re going to get him removed.”

16, “Really mother? You’re going to make me go through an unneeded surgical procedure to get rid of a perfectly functioning robot?” She knew me too well.

“Besides, I’m devilishly intelligent and horribly quick witted. You might want to get rid of me now, but by the time our trip to the moon is done you’ll love having me around. I’m sure of it.”

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Eight Sentence Sunday #5

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Here are eight sentences from the novel I am currently editing; Moon Murder.

A metallic voice split the night, “We meet again Clarissa.”

My name isn’t Clarissa, but that didn’t make the robot voice less threatening. He was obviously mistaking me for someone else.

“Umm, I’m not Clarissa.”

“Liar!” I tried to pinpoint where the voice was coming from, to no avail. It continued, “You’re the human that destroyed my life. The woman that took my eyes!”

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Monthly Review of Yearly Goals #1

I did edits for my novel on paper, that is good and on track. But they were not transcribed into my computer yet, that’s behind schedule.

This month I need to start writing the missing scenes and doing more in depth edits for the novel.

Last week I edited and sent out the first chapter to my critique group. That’s ahead of schedule since the chapter is now done with in depth edits. The comments have come back and everyone has been enjoying it! They say I should look at my word choices more. The mother and daughter speak similarly and there should be more differentiation in between their speech. Everyone loves the arm implant, I need to add him into more scenes.

I did not write a short story this month. I hope to remedy this by writing two this month and sending them out. One short story from last year was rejected from the anthology that I sent it to. I need to revise it and then send it out again. That’s a goal for this weekend.

Starting today (Exactly 8 weeks before April) I need to figure out the plot for the novel I’ll be writing in April. I should do the first three steps of the snowflake method this week and otherwise continue on the weekly schedule I created in Jan.

Eight Sentence Sunday #4

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Here are eight sentences from the novel I am currently editing; Moon Murder.

“What color were my sisters thoughts?”

“Red, she got angrier than you.”

“Red and orange are close.” I responded, perhaps he was taking some of his like for her and placing it on me.

“Close yes, but not the same. You are more cheerful, more fun, more laughter. Your mind is a good combination of dedication to what you care about and lightness of love. It’s beautiful.”

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