Imagine: You are almost done with school; you just have your finals to worry about. You were really excited to finally hang out with your boyfriend, Ian. You were really stressed out over finals week and you had your toughest final on Wednesday. It was Tuesday afternoon and Ian kept texting you that he wanted to come over. You didn’t reply to his messages since you were busy, and when it came to dealing with stress you get really moody. Ian got frustrated of texting you and called you. “What?!” “Baby I texted you like ten times!” “Ian, I don’t have time for this! I’ll call you tomorrow.” “Ba-“ You hang up on him before he even finishes what he was going to say. You hear your phone buzz right away and read Ian’s message. “Babe I understand that you’re stressed, but don’t take it out on me…I’m coming over tonight I wanna sleep with you, mi amor :)” You immediately got annoyed at him and replied “Seriously,Ian don’t bother coming over I’m sick and tired of you bothering me! Just leave me alone dammit!” He didn’t reply to you so you texted him again “I hope you got the hint, leave me alone!“ You head back to your apartment in a couple hours and as soon as you walk in you see Ian asleep on your couch. You were super pissed, and walked over to him. You were ready to smack him, and then you stopped and looked at him. After talking to him the way you did, any other guy would have left, but he didn’t. You felt terrible for talking to him the way you did, and you began to cry. You crawl onto the couch with him and whispered, “I love you Ian”.  You close your eyes, and feel a soft kiss on your forehead, and hear “I love you more.” You don’t deny it and fall asleep in Ian’s arms.

Happy Yet? -- para -- ian & jenny

Jen let out a low sigh and jumped out of her mom’s car, mumbling goodbye as she headed up the narrow walkway that led to Ian’s door with her hands in her jacket pockets. The air outside was heavy; it’d been raining only an hour beforehand and the girl’s blonde hair was evidence of that. Normally straight, it was now curly and messy underneath the beanie she’d slung on last minute just as she was leaving her own home. Not that she wanted to admit it, but she was upset with Ian. His actions confused her to no end. Who cared if she’d slept with somebody? The boy had never seemed to pay too much attention to her tendencies before. Ian had been a smoking buddy. Her dealer. And, honestly, much more than that, Jenny had come to realize in the last few days.

Her icy hand rapped against the door of Ian’s home and then quickly dove back into her pocket as a round of shivers took its course through the blonde’s petite body. Blue eyes settled on the wet ground below her, eyeing her untied sneakers while she waited for an answer. She assumed because Ian had invited her over that his dad wouldn’t be home. Not that it would surprise her if he was there, but she knew he wasn’t too fond of his dad and would’ve planned on meeting some place else instead if he wasn’t at work.

Getting my book ready to publish. (A personal journey)

So last week, I talked about choosing to self publish, and I promised that I would talk this week about editing my book. Remember, that this is my journey and it will be different than the path you may need to take to get to the same point.

Finishing the Book

My first attempt at NaNo didn’t go well. It wasn’t terrible, but I had several things that came up in November of 2010, including the birth of my niece, and not knowing my story well enough to tell it at that point.

I was ready in 2011, and hit that 50k word mark with a couple of hours to spare. That wasn’t the end of the journey, it was only the beginning.

I took off a month from even thinking about my book. Then I printed out the book and read it with a pen in hand. I made corrections as I went and made it better. After that, I went to my Word file and worked on the ending of the book.

With a word sprint, I was able to finish the story around 11pm on October 2012, just before I started work on my next novel, Young Mutants in Love.Obviously, I didn’t worry about my 2011 book for that entire month. I had something else on my mind.

Read it again

After taking about a month away from my finished story, I went back and read it again. This read through was focused on finding big errors. Did I mix up names? (which I did) Are there any sentences that are awkward or pointless? What about scenes? Do you have any that don’t add to the story?

In this round, mostly just take notes. You might want to make a timeline and list features about your characters and locations. (I couldn’t remember what color eyes my characters had, and that was a problem.)

Second Read

Here’s where you have to get tough on your story. Remember all of those words, sentences and scenes that you were spotting in the first read? Now is the time to seriously think about them. Filler chapters may not really need to be a part of your story.

Third Read

My final look was focused on getting rid of adverbs. I put them everywhere, and I discovered that I didn’t need most of them. I did keep some of them, and I kept all of them with one of my characters because I felt that they fit with her character.

Final Look Over

Now that I’ve don’t my edits,I need to look at how the book looks on Kindle. So far it is going well. I’m also spotting several adverbs that I missed.

Final Thoughts

If you are going to self publish, then no one else is going to make sure that your book looks right unless you want to pay someone to do it for you.Be sure to have a friend or two look it over since it is good to have fresh eyes looking at your words.

OK, here’s me plugging myself a little bit again:

My IAN page (Independent Author Network) it has all of my other links in case you want to check them out.

A Taste of the Book Referenced Below

Dear Misery

Deep into the fog,
That crawls throughout the night,
Lay waiting–Misery–
Who will overtake the light.
A shadow calm by day,
A butcher holding on,
To the agonizing myth
Of this life and the beyond.
But then when darkness mounts,
Shedding blackness on your ghost,
Erupts our friend, dear Misery,
Dancing sprightly from her post.
Frolicsome she acts,
As she prances through the haze,
But underneath her rapture,
Is a death-dance to amaze.
Cumbersome this life is,
Dropping boulders in your road,
Planted there by Misery,
The foe who loves to goad.
She shall walk upon your grave,
Although you haven’t entered,
And are convinced you never will,
So deluded and self-centered.
Kiss thee goodnight she does,
And she does it with a smile,
As you drift into unconsciousness,
So sweet and so worthwhile.
Pray to not awaken,
To this fog, never return
Misery loves her company,
And she’ll love to watch you burn.

You be the beast, and I'll be the beauty || Jolie & Ian

Jolie continued with her eye pencil; carefully stenciling it around her eyelids before staring at the reflection displayed before her.  With smoky eyes and rouge lips she found herself smiling, looks had never been something of utter importance to the brunette; her father had been turned into a beast, a monster for judging on looks when he was younger after all.  So Jolie tried to stay clear of those thoughts for the fear of the same thing one day happening to her.  But there was no denying a person got a certain respect if they had power, money, or beauty, as awful as the thought was.  Ian was an odd choice to settle upon, for those who knew Jolie.  Many would have assumed she would have picked someone more similar to her own personality.  She had heard many things about the boy, mostly not the best of things but from what she had seen herself he seemed more misunderstood than anything. 

Keep reading