THE CRAFT OF WRITING – PART 2

THE CRAFT OF WRITING – PART 2

ProofReadingSecrets

The Valley of Elah or The little things that make Proofreading Secrets of  Best-Selling Authors valuable to writers 

by Kay DiBianca

I bent down to pick up the little stone. It was round and flat and smooth in my hand. Such a small thing, hardly important among the thousands of similar stones that lay in the dry creek bed.

I stood and our guide led my husband and me through the valley where gentle hills shielded us on either side. Alone in that idyllic place, we were captivated by the peace, the shalom, of our surroundings, and I found it hard to believe we were standing on the site of one of the most famous battles in history, the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath.

We’re all familiar with the story: “Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:40

I’m not sure I appreciated the magnitude of David’s task until I picked up that stone and realized how small it was. And yet one of those stones, slung more than three thousand years ago, saved the young nation of Israel and changed the world.

The lesson is clear: little things can make a big difference.

***

When I sent my manuscript of The Watch on the Fencepost to my newly acquired editor, I was pretty confident I had found all the obvious errors. But when she sent the corrected copy back to me, there was so much red ink I thought I should offer to buy her a new printer cartridge! The errors were small, but they added up to a manuscript that looked amateurish.

Since my editor was Kathy Ide, I figured it might be wise to pick up a copy of her book, Proofreading Secrets of Best-selling Authors and skip the embarrassment of sending her an updated document with a bunch of errors again.

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors is a concise reference guide to issues of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (which she calls “PUGS”), using The Chicago Manual of Style as its basis. It explains, for example, when to use “blond” vs. “blonde.” And when to spell out a number instead of using a numeral. And when you should use an apostrophe and an s or just an apostrophe when forming a possessive. These may be small things, but a knowledgeable reader may toss your book aside if she sees too many of these errors.

Like those little stones we found in the Valley of Elah, Kathy’s book provides lots of ammunition to help writers conquer the “PUGS” giant. Little things really do make a big difference.

***

kathyideI am delighted to welcome Kathy Ide as the guest for my second article on the craft of writing. Along with her numerous activities in writing, editing, and mentoring, Kathy serves as director of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. She is also owner of the Christian Editor Network LLC, the parent company of four divisions for aspiring and established freelance editors and proofreaders. In addition to Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Kathy has written the Capitalization Dictionary. She is also the compiler and editor of a four-book series of Fiction Lovers Devotional books, including 21 Days of Grace, 21 Days of Love, 21 Days of Joy, and 21 Days of Christmas.

 

Welcome, Kathy, and thank you for joining us!

Thank you, Kay!

What made you want to become an author?

I’ve been an avid book lover since I was a little girl—reading under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to be sleeping. In my thirties, a friend from church asked me to help her prepare for a writers’ conference she was directing, then invited me to attend. I went mainly to meet people whose names were on the covers of books I had at home—celebrities in my eyes! At that conference, I discovered that authors are “real people” and that most write in their spare time. I decided to give it a try. I scooped up one of everything on the freebie table, including sample magazines and writers’ guidelines. I wrote an article for a magazine I’d never heard of. When they sent me a check for $100, I was hooked!

Why did you decide to write Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors?

After I’d been writing for a few years, I started doing some proofreading book manuscripts for Moody Publishers. If I thought a word was misspelled or a punctuation mark was wrong, I had to write the dictionary page number or the Chicago Manual of Style rule in the margin to prove it. When I realized I was looking up the same words and rules over and over, I began a “cheat sheet.” Over time, it grew long enough that I put it in a three-ring folder. When my fellow authors, editors, and proofreaders saw it, they wanted it a copy. And they asked me to add other issues they struggled with. I eventually self-published it as Polishing the PUGS: Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling. That caught on, and I kept adding more sections that my colleagues requested. When I was offered a contract with a traditional publisher, they wanted to change the title—so people wouldn’t think the book was about dog grooming! When a colleague came up with Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, I loved it. So I gathered tips from the authors I’d met through years of writers’ conferences to add to the book.

How do you manage to juggle a busy schedule of writing, editing, mentoring and all your other responsibilities?

Good question! It truly is a “one day at a time” thing. I start each morning asking God what He wants me to do that day. And I seek His direction throughout the day as well. At the end of the day, I choose to trust that whatever I didn’t manage to accomplish must not have been what God wanted me to get done that day.

In addition to daily guidance, I regularly ask God if there’s anything I’m doing that I need to either stop doing, find someone else to do, or get more help with. When I feel stretched too thin, unable to accomplish well all the things God has called me to do, I consider my priority list. What items on that list are things that only I can do—being a good wife to my husband, a good mom to my boys (even though they’re adults now), a good godmother to my sweet little girl? Which things can I get more help with (even if I already have an excellent team working with me)? Are there things that God called me to do at one time that He wants someone else to take over now?

What one piece of advice would you give to new authors?

View what God has called you to write as a calling—every bit as important as if He had called you to be a pastor or serve on the mission field. He knows who He wants to reach with what He’s put a passion in your heart to write. And He knows the exact moment when that person is going to need to read it. So pursue this vital calling by learning the craft of writing, polishing your work through critique partners and professional editors, make connections with fellow writers and other industry professionals at writers’ conferences. When “life happens” and you get distracted from your writing goals, or when you get rejected by the agent or publisher you were sure was the right choice for you, don’t get discouraged. God knows about the circuitous journey from idea to publication. Trust His timing. And don’t give up.

Do you have any books coming out soon?

In 2020, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas will be releasing the long-awaited sequel to Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. I’ve combined the information in the flyers I give to my editing clients with tips from multi-published writers I know to create Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors.

Other than your own books, what book on the craft of writing would you recommend to our readers?

Most of my favorite craft books are about writing fiction—not just because that’s what I enjoy reading most, but because nonfiction books can be so much better if they include anecdotes that use fiction-writing techniques. And narrative nonfiction (especially memoirs) can truly come to life when written with these techniques.

I’ve most enjoyed Story by Robert McKee, The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maas, Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins, and Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

What do you do when you want to get away from all your responsibilities in the publishing world?

Vacation with my husband! Rick is exceptionally patient, understanding, and supportive with my crazy schedule. So I make a point of spending focused time with him when I can. A few years ago, we bought an RV and jet skis (used, but new to us!). One of our favorite vacations involves getting together with family members and renting a houseboat for a week on Lake Powell. Rick and I are out on the jet skis all day, exploring the many coves and inlets of the lake with their massive rock walls so similar to the Grand Canyon, then spend relaxing evenings chatting with the rest of the group, hearing how they enjoyed the motorboat, kayak, or traveling slowly down the lake and enjoying the scenery.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

My website, http://kathyide.com/

Mount Hermon writers conference, https://writers.mounthermon.org/

SoCal writers conference, https://socalcwc.com/

Christian Editor Network LLC, https://christianeditornetwork.com/

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your expertise with us!

Thank you, Kay!

39 comments

  • Kathy, one additional question that may be of interest to new (and experienced) writers: what are the benefits of attending writing conferences? How should an author prepare for one?

    • There are so many benefits to attending a Christian writers’ conference! You get to meet and hang out with people who get you, kindred spirits who understand the challenges and triumphs of writing, and who can sympathize with you as well as rejoice with you. You connect with other writers who become lifelong friends and sometimes critique partners–people who can help you improve your writing as you provide feedback on theirs. You meet industry professionals face-to-face: best-selling, multi-published authors, literary agents, acquisitions agents from publishing houses, representatives from small presses and subsidy publishers. And they’re there specifically to meet new writers like you! God makes “divine connections” between you and the people He knows can take your writing to the next step on the journey He has for you. You learn a tremendous amount from the teaching sessions, and if the conference records the sessions, you can listen to more after you get home, continuing your education. You’ll learn about the writing and publishing industry from those who are actively in it. You’ll learn about trends in the industry. You’ll receive encouragement to continue working on what God has put a passion in your heart to write and to trust Him with the results and the timing. Plus, it’s just a whole lot of FUN!

      • Thanks, Kathy. This is great information. Frank and I have attended the Mt. Hermon Writers Conference twice, and it was everything you described. We came away refreshed, more knowledgeable, and sensing our place within the writing community. Such a privilege.

      • I haven’t been to a writing conference, but I attended an editing conference last month, and it was the coolest thing imaginable to sit in the same room with 50+ other people who shared my same feelings toward writing, editing, language, etc. I went originally just to see what it was like–I’d never been to a conference like that before–and in the hope that I might drum up some business. But what I got out of it was so much more! It was 10 hours a day of pure adrenaline rush! And even though most of us were introverts, we were all talking to each other and making friends–now who would believe that? But then, as an introvert, I can’t really talk unless I have something to talk about–and thereby was the glory of all these people who shared my feelings on the subject. We could all talk to each other because we had something to talk about, something we felt strongly about, and, uh, “great was the rejoicing.” 😀 Okay, I’ll stop now.

      • Was that by any chance the PENCON editors conference? PENCON is a division of my Christian Editor Network LLC, and what you described is exactly how it feels for me. Two full days of connecting with kindred spirits who actually care deeply about PUGS. Who can spend five full minutes discussing the Oxford comma without once rolling their eyes. Who understand why I cringe when I see the word its’ … or should I say the NON-word! Just being around people who see the world the same way you do is pure bliss.

      • Guilty as charged, it was PENCON. I can’t think of a single minute I wouldn’t gladly re-live, except maybe for a minute when I realized the “auto-flush” on the toilet didn’t work at the rather strange hotel. ;P

      • The Hotel Preston was … unique. But really glad to hear you enjoyed this year’s conference. Hope to see you at a future PENCON!

  • Kathy wrote, “I regularly ask God if there’s anything I’m doing that I need to either stop doing, find someone else to do, or get more help with. When I feel stretched too thin, unable to accomplish well all the things God has called me to do, I consider my priority list.” What lovely advice! I’ve ordered my copy of Proofreading Secrets – paperback because I do believe I’ll consult it regularly. Love the acronym PUGS!

    Thank you, Kay, for sharing about actually standing beside the brook in the Valley of Elah, picking up a stone as young David did. Oh my, I was right there with you! And with David, for that matter. Powerful!

  • As someone with a career of having published scores of non-fiction (professional) articles but a newbie in writing fiction, I’d like to ask Kathy Ide something. It’s not about proofreading or editing, per se, but it concerns something that editors constantly have to deal with. How does one avoid having their literary creativity stifled by the plethora of rules one faces in modern writing? Show don’t Tell. Deep Point-of-View. Cut out the Backstory. Kill your Darlings. If you can’t Smell It, You can’t Sell It. (OK, I made that one up—I think—but it’s good—right?). And there are so many other rules.
    I do believe these rules can be very helpful, but I think a lot of the pro’s and some wannabe pro’s go overboard on this. The funny thing seems to be that these rules only apply until someone starts selling big. Then they can write whatever they want and murder the rules.
    Any comments, Kathy?
    PS—I have your book and love the selection and treatment of the topics it covers!

  • Frank, the examples you gave aren’t “rules.” They’re writing techniques that authors have discovered makes a story far more compelling and engaging. Yes, a writer (or editor) can “go overboard” on anything. But as you study these techniques and implement them into your fiction manuscript, I think you’ll find that your story will resonate more deeply with your readers. They’ll be able to “live” the story with your characters rather than simply reading about it. Instead of being told how your characters feel, your readers will feel the emotions your characters are experiencing.

    And yes, it’s true that successful best-selling authors sometimes choose to ignore certain “rules.” In some cases that’s because they’ve learned those techniques so well that they know when and how to tweak them. But it’s also because they have established such a strong, loyal fan base that their readers will buy anything they write. In addition, with really successful authors, publishers tend to insist they crank out more books in a short period of time. But that can lead to writing that is less polished. I’ve seen many best-selling authors lose a good portion of their audience when they started producing books that didn’t live up to the standards that made them popular in the first place.

    Rather than resisting these suggestions from your editors, Frank, do your best to study and learn these techniques and figure out how best to implement them in your story. Then share your manuscript with some target readers and ask what they think.

    • Kathy, you are so write about the techniques and why they work. Yesterday I was “surfing” through Project Gutenberg and decided to read a novel by Grace Livingston Hill. I had heard of her many times and wanted to actually read something by her. The book was called “Dawn of the Morning” and was published in 1904. The story was interesting, but oh, wow, every other line was “he felt sad” or “she was tired” and it just kept going! Now this was more than 100 years ago, and I don’t think I realized just how “spoiled” I’ve become reading modern writing that SHOWS the emotional state rather than tells about it, but I got so tired of reading all the lengthy descriptions and such. Modern techniques bring the emotional state close to the reader, rather than just leaving the reader at a distance to be told about it. Tell Frank to read some of the really florid prose of late Victoriana and see if he doesn’t notice a vivid difference.

      • Um … another homonym bites the dust. I meant “right,” not “write”! 🙁

      • So true! Especially in today’s world with readers who have very little free time and very short attention spans, it’s vital that authors write tight, catch a reader’s attention right off the bat, give just enough description to show the important aspects of characters and setting, and get deep into the POV character’s head and heart, showing what he or she thinks and feels. A hundred years ago, I think people read more slowly, let their imaginations picture every nuance of the scene, took the time to put themselves into the setting. But as authors learned how to implement writing techniques that enhanced their storytelling, readers gravitated toward that … and then came to expect it.

        Plus, with the enormous plethora of books out there, readers can afford to be choosy. If a book doesn’t capture their attention in the first paragraph, they can set it aside and start another one. If they get bored a third of the way through, chuck it! Life’s too short to read boring books.

        As a writer, you don’t want readers to get partway through your book and realize they don’t really CARE whether the hero and heroine are successful in the pursuit of their goals. You want readers cheering for your characters, sad when things go wrong for them, and eager for the next book when they get to the end because they want to spend more time with those characters. That happens when you implement the techniques that make your story and the people in it come alive.

      • Kathy and MLK,
        Perhaps I should clarify what I meant to say. I fully appreciate the importance of the rules I mentioned and try to use them when I write. My point was they shouldn’t be applied like fingers around someone’s throat because that may stifle creativity as well as respiration. There are instances in which telling, stepping out of deep POV, and so on are appropriate. Am I wrong about this?

      • But isn’t just that; my 31-year-old son stood in my living room and said it to my face: “Video games are the new books, mom. We have all our adventures only we get them fed to us in pictures and sounds, we don’t have to imagine how they happen–we can see it!”

        We’re competing with things Grace Livingston Hill didn’t have to worry about–movies with IL&M special effects, computer animated stories, Xbox, PS4 and whatever else all those gadgets are. People are getting lazier every year, and as much as I wanted tear Josiah’s hair out, I couldn’t–partly because he’s my son, partly because he’s already bald, and partly because it’s true. Today’s writers are dealing with a lot of competition that didn’t exist in the olden days, and if we don’t catch and keep the readers’ attention, something else will.

    • Frank, you’re not wrong in wanting to feel creative. That’s always right! But look at these techniques as new ways of expressing your creativity. Telling the story is only one way of being creative. But picking how you tell it, the ways you grab the reader and hold her attention, the things you say that make a reader sit up straight and think, “Wow, what a great expression”–all those are ways of being creative too, and that’s a whole new value to look at!

      • Writing is a right-brained activity–a specialty of the creative side of the brain. When you’re writing a first draft, you can ignore all the “rules” and just write whatever comes to your mind. But after you’ve done that, access the left side of your brain to analyze what you’ve written and see how it can be written even better. That’s not “stifling” your creativity–it’s honing it. Polishing it. Making it shine. Making sure it communicates what you meant when you thought of it (which the right brain isn’t always great at). Don’t think of this as “fingers around your throat.” Think of it as enhancement. It’s true that there are instances in which telling is better than showing–like when a short scene is simply there to get the characters from one place to another. But important scenes should always been shown. Stepping out of deep POV is rarely a good idea, because it takes your reader outside the character’s head. That’s jarring for the reader who has been experiencing your story as if she were in it, and then suddenly she reads something that the character couldn’t know or wouldn’t be thinking. That breaks the immersion.

  • BARBARA Curtis

    Thanks for stopping by for the blog, Kathy! And for the additional insights in the comment questions/answers also. And congratulations on your upcoming book! And thank you, Kay, for the variety of crafting books and authors you’re hosting on your blog.

  • Wow, this article is full of so much great information that I have never thought about. I will add the acronym (PUGS) to my arsenal. I am not an author or anything of the sort, but I am an entrepreneur and there are many times when I have to prepare a formal document to be read and understood by those who I am in relationship with. So thank you for the wisdom.
    On a related topic my endeavors as a entrepreneur are in the domain of ministry and the proclaiming of GOD”S WORD. As was stated in your article, I believe and agree with starting the day off with seeking the LORD”S will for each and every day while prioritizing and carrying it out in a very similar manner as yours.
    It is such a privilege to have been introduced to such tangible information and insightful commentary that I can add to my tool box for future use.

  • I lived with a couple of proof readers back in the nineties. They were on the front lines of editing before submission to the New York publishing houses. I got a chance to see first hand some original manuscripts. It was amazing some of the junk that “authors” thought was worthy of publication. One guy just wrote down everything in the world that annoyed him. After reading the manuscript for a while I could slowly feel my brain being reshaped into to something I really didn’t approve of, so I had to stop. I can’t imagine the level of patience required by proof readers to do this sort of thing long term. I suppose it is a lot like slogging through miles of jungle muck and mire to stumble upon a magnificent emerald winking at you from the bottom of a clear stream. Maybe it would be akin to ER staff becoming calloused over by Friday night stabbings and shootings only to deliver a baby in the back of a taxi. I’m afraid that I’m made of weaker stuff. Thanks to all those on the front lines. It makes my life less of a waste of time and more enjoyable.

    • It definitely takes a certain personality to do proofreading and/or editing professionally. When I started in this business, I took any job that came my way, and some of them did feel like “slogging through miles of jungle muck and mire to stumble upon a magnificent emerald.” (Great description, btw.) Now that I’ve been doing this professionally for several years, I can be more discriminating about the manuscripts I edit. But I do love taking a rough manuscript and helping the author figure out how to make it shine!

  • Judith M Karge

    The conversation between Kathy and Kay was most interesting. Lots of good thoughts. I also enjoyed reading Kathy’s response to Frank Dee’s question.

    I recently received Kathy’s book as a gift, and spent several days going through it, taking notes and talking to a friend about the sections I was either unfamiliar with or wasn’t sure about. I’ve already put what I learned into practice.

    Sometimes I wonder how much the plethora of story posting at the many internet writing sites, and direct posting of stories to Amazon and the like, are diminishing the true craft of writing. It’s wonderful to tell a story, but part of that to me is making it as pleasing to the eye as to the mind. Much of this new form of writing goes from pen to post without any editing. An acquaintance from work once asked if I’d check out the book of poetry she’d self-posted on Amazon. When I asked who’d edited for her, she scoffed at the idea, saying that wasn’t important anymore, because readers appreciate the raw beauty of how you originally wrote it. I wonder if Kathy has heard this type of comment too, and how would she respond to it.

    • I think you should have told your friend, “I appreciate the raw power of an onion, but I’m not gonna eat it raw. I’m gonna saute it and let the heat bring out the sweetness and flavor.” But Kathy’s reply is way more tactful. 😀

  • Many people are posting their writing online or in self-published books without editing or even proofreading. And it makes me cringe! Not just because that’s what I do for a living. But if you don’t have your work edited, your writing may not accurately express what you meant. A misspelled word here, an incorrect punctuation there, and your reader might get an entirely different message than the one you intended.

    I love to sing–in the car, in the shower, alone in my house, when I’m with my goddaughter. But I wouldn’t ask someone to PAY to hear me sing, because I’ve never taken voice lessons. I haven’t spent years developing my singing voice. Sure, I could post a video of myself singing. But that would be embarrassing to me … and torture for those who stumbled upon that video!

    Working with a good editor is like taking an intensive writing course, with your manuscript as the lesson plan. If you want your manuscript to communicate effectively and engage your readers, hiring a professional editor is crucial. It’s also an excellent investment in any future writing you might do.

    Getting your manuscript edited before sending it out to the public shows that you respect your reader enough to make your writing the best it can be. Sending out a rough draft is an indication that you’re not serious about your craft and that you don’t care enough about your reader to take the extra steps to make your writing excellent.

  • The problem with my writing, and I am no author by any means, is that when I leave it alone and come back to it later I can see all kinds of thought conveance errors and it usually doesn’t flow well either. (Proof that Proof Readers are definitely essential). When I write technical manuals, technical specifications, Help Files or even Program Operation Guides it seems clear enough at first, but then degrades towards confusion over time for even the author. It is because I know what I am saying when I write it, but I’m not describing it in a way that others (who are less familiar) can understand and as soon as I back away from it for a while I don’t understand it either. I’ve been told that my writing is terse at best. (probably because of the computer programming), but standing too close to the elephant causes you to describe it unsuccessfully too. In technical writing it is good to start out with an Overview and then zoom in. The reader’s frame of mind is another variable. It can be manipulated by what comes before, such as the Overview, but other frames of reference variables can affect what the reader is “seeing” or is accustomed to seeing. Take a phone book for example. Sometimes it’s best to look up something in the yellow pages and sometimes the white pages. When I designed operator interfaces I would duplicate places to find the same certain information because different people looked for things in different places or in different ways. I noticed as the complexity of the systems went up that people didn’t read as much, but instead looked for patterns in the screens. Breaking things up into categories helped, but graphical representation in realistic images of the real world of: pumps, tanks, buildings, conveyors etc and allowing the operators to just select a picture (and Drill Down) instead of having to read paragraphs of words helped a lot. That’s how we ended up with the Windows Operating System. The more complexity and the more likely you are to get lost in the weeds. This may be why some of the most successful books are just simple stories. Like, “To Kill a Mockingbird” for example. Today it is labelled as a racist book, but it is just a snapshot in time and a lesson in good and evil and ignorance. A lie is complex like a tangled web, but the truth is simple.

    • Established authors often tell new writers to leave their writing alone for a few weeks or even months and come back to it later, because they’ll see all kinds of errors and issues that need to be addressed. The mind tends to read what it expects to see, so it fills in blanks and misses mistakes. Established authors also tell new writers they need to have other people read what they’ve written, to see if what they wrote makes sense, flows well, is engaging, and meets their needs. Having members of your target audience read the manuscript is extremely helpful. Having other writers read what you wrote can be a tremendous benefit, because they’ll be aware of writing techniques that you may not know about or aren’t sure how to implement. Once you have your manuscript as polished as you can get it, that’s the best time to hire an editor.

      • Not like I’m an established author, but as an editor and proofreader for many years, I also tell new writers to “lose” their writing for a while and read a lot of other stuff, then come back a few weeks or months later. This makes it “fresh” again in the readers’ eye. And I do it myself, too.

  • The Double Entendre was a way of being suggestive, but leaving plausible deniability if not well received. You can write lengthier Double Entendres to lead the reader down a path and then later surprise them with a change of direction or contradictory evidence. Kay did this in her book and had me believing person B was the guilty party, but then later making it look like person C was the one. This change of direction (and confusion due to lack of evidence) kept you guessing until it congealed into a complete picture at the end.

    • Writing a mystery requires special techniques in addition to those that apply to all fiction writing. You hit on the main one here–giving readers enough clues that they theoretically COULD figure out the solution on their own, but weaving them in with so many “red herrings” and distractions that readers are sure they know the solution … until the end, when they find out what the solution is. The best mysteries are ones where the reader is completely surprised by the solution, but when they have all the facts, they realize that’s the only solution that could actually work. Readers will be disappointed if the author simply doesn’t provide enough evidence for them to be able to figure out the solution on their own. And, as with any book, the ending has to be satisfying to the reader. Not necessarily a happily-ever-after for all the protagonists and all the antagonists get their just desserts. But loose ends are tied up enough that readers are glad they read the book all the way through.

      Kay did a wonderful job of this in her book. There are plenty of twists in the plot, times when you’re sure you know what happened and then you find out something that discounts your theory, and a satisfying ending. It’s definitely an enjoyable read!

  • I loved Kay’s book! At the time I read it had already around 40 books in the year, but hers was my favorite. Now the year is half over and it’s still my favorite.

    • Aww. You all are making it hard for me to breathe in this rarefied atmosphere. (But if you keep it up, I won’t complain. 😊 )

      Seriously. I love a good compliment as much as the next guy, but this blog series is not about promoting my book. It’s about sharing some things I’ve learned and introducing some of the professionals I’ve had the good fortune to work with. I sincerely hope it will serve the many new authors who are looking for guidance as we all navigate through this labyrinth called “publishing.”

    • It’s comments like this that make me LOVE my job!!! I thoroughly enjoyed working with Kay. She implemented my corrections, asking questions if there was something she didn’t understand. She studied my suggestions, took many of them, asked for clarification as needed, then came up with her own rewrites based on what she was learning along the way. What a delight! But an even greater joy is when the “baby” I helped the author birth goes out into the world, and people love it! Such a great feeling!

  • And maybe this is a good segue to announce the next blog post in the Craft of Writing Series: In July we will highlight “The Christian Writers Market Guide” and interview Steve Laube, president and founder of The Steve Laube Agency.

    Don’t miss it!

  • How cool that I get to be the “warm-up act” for Steve Laube. I think he knows just about everything there is to know about pretty much every aspect of the writing and publishing world. You guys are in for a real treat in July!

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