Re-Editing your manuscript

Now that I’ve edited from my critique group all of their great insights, it’s time to re-read my manuscript.

But first, last clichés:

Bag of tricks— Use of one’s entire resources. Goes back to the bag of the itinerant magician, which contained all of the items needed to perform his tricks. Dates back as far as LaFontaine’s fables (1694), where a fox carries a sac de ruses. Especially common in Victorian literature.

Truth to tellWhere you speak frankly and honestly. Another version of to tell the truth and it dates from the mid-1300s. Both phrases emphasize a statement, i.e. “Truth to tell, I hated that book.”

Spit and polish— When you use great care for a spotless and smart appearance. Originated in the armed services, where one used spit to hastily clean for an unexpected inspection. Term also came to mean more attention to appearance than to actual working efficiency. In WWI, “Spit and polish! We’re winning the war,” equaled a sarcastic expression used by those in front lines to the concerns of career officers sitting behind desks in the war office.

How many did you find?

So how am I re-editing my manuscript? First, I don’t want to run around in circles. I have a plan. I’ve gone through the entire book and I underlined all the verbs, adverbs, repeats, and questions in different colors. I used colored markers and in one color highlighted all of the action verbs, another color for passive verbs, another color for adverbs, another for repeated verbs or words/sentences on same page or page before or after, and another color for questions I might have on anything in my manuscript.

What questions? Well, if I couldn’t make heads or tails out of something I said, then I highlighted it to come back to later to correct.

Now, that I’ve highlighted all of those things, I’m re-reading the book by perusing the highlights, and fixing the repeats, making the passive verbs more vivid. For example: I had been going to go= I went. This changes my manuscript into reading like a man of few words.

You want your manuscript to be filled with action verbs, easy to understand, and creates emotion. Mark my words, this will all be worth it in the end. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you want your book to be the best you can write. What will I do when I finish this process? I’ll read it backwards to catch any sentences that don’t make sense. Then I’ll send it to my editor to read.

Until next time,

Keep Writing,


Working on next Novel to be published

What do you do after you publish one novel? Well of course you work on publishing the next completed novel.

Last Clichès:

Get my teeth into (something)- Work energetically at something, come to grips with it. The image of sinking one’s teeth into something is probably much older, the expression comes from the early 20th Century. See Dorothy Sayer’s Gaudy Night (1935).

Hit or miss- Random, haphazard. This term probably comes from shooting or throwing at some kind of target. It was transferred early on to making an attempt of any kind, knowing that a person might succeed or fail. Used since the 16th century. See Shakespeare (Troilus and Cressida). It later appeared in several collections of proverbs.

On the dot- Exactly on time. The dot in question is the minutes indication on the face of a clock or watch. This term used since about 1900. Rex Stout used it to describe his compulsively punctual detective, Nero Wolfe. See Champagne for One (1958).

Can’t see beyond the end of my nose- Unable to grasp anything but the immediate problem or events, shortsighted. Term = a 16th century French proverb cited by several English writers. Later used in a fable, The Fox and the Goat by La Fontaine, and in Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man (1734).

On an even keel- Well balanced, in stable condition. The keel is the bottom of a boat hull, extending along its full length and forming its backbone. A boat is said to be on an even keel when it rides flat in the water, without tilting to either side. The image was used in human affairs in the mid-19th century.

So, how many did you find this time?

I’ve been going to my thriller critique group and after I published Night Terror, I immediately started in with the group on my next novel, working title Vanity Killed. I’m down to the last 4 chapters and as soon as I finish correcting what the critique group had issues with, I will reach into my bag of tricks and read one more time, then send to my editor. Why to an editor? Because, truth to tell, without someone editing your work, it just doesn’t come out professional. We get so close to our work, that we miss little things. After the editor, I will spit and polish my work. While the piece is at the editors, I will look through tons of photos online and find something for my book designer to work with.

Of course, while all of the above is happening, I will be working on the next novel and having it critiqued with my group.

And that is what you do after you publish your novel.

Keep writing,


Life Gets in the Way

There should be no excuses for not writing.

But, first comes first–

Last Clichès:

Pave the Way- To lead up to; prepare for something. Metaphor dating from before 1585 for smoothing one’s course–Paving a road makes it easier to traverse. Also see James Hogg’s Tales and Skethces (c. 1817).

Kill two birds with one stone- To achieve two goals with one effort. The idea dates from Roman times, the exact expression, (unlikely not a real reality) dates from about 1600. See Thomas Hobbes (Liberty, 1656). A more feasible operation is to kill two flies with one flap (John Ray, Proverbs, 1678), but this term did not catch on.

Heart of Gold- A very kind person. This dates from the 16th Century. It was well known by the time Shakespeare wrote Henry V (1599), where Pistol describes his master. See 4:1.

At a loss (to be) – Puzzled or unable to come to a decision. See Lacon, Part 2, no. 116 from Charles Colton (c 1780-1832). Also be at a loss for something, like at a loss for words, which means that one cannot speak, think of anything to say.

How many clichés did you find?

Well, I need to get my teeth into this blogging. Life keeps getting in my way and I keep making excuses. Can’t get a following if you don’t blog at least once a week. I really don’t want this blog to be a hit or miss thing.

I want to thank those who are following me and hope you will stick with me. I won’t say that the last few months have been hectic because that would be an insult to all writers. All of us have hectic lives. So I’ll just say I will try to do better.

I try to give wisdom on writing here and pass on interesting tidbits that I’ve learned from my experiences. Trouble is, some of that learning has nothing to do with writing, but I want to keep this blog all about writing/publishing. So I may not write on the dot, but I will keep blogging about my experiences with writing.

This one is about the lack of writing, due to life experiences. I moved and have been very busy selling, packing, loading, unloading, unpacking and getting new house organized. I’ve been so tired, I can’t see beyond the end of my nose. However, now I have my new computer desk and all is sold and unpacked—all above done in two weeks!

So here I am again, on an even keel. I will try and write on this blog every week about my experiences with writing/publishing and include clichés for you all to find and then following week, explain those clichés and use new ones.

Keep Writing,