Quick-Tip Tuesday: Self-Editing Redux

As I’ve mentioned here plenty of times in the past couple of months, I’m in the process of editing my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle. The Author’s Edit of Children of Amarid, the first volume, has recently been released by Lore Seekers Press; I’ve just finished my revisions of book II, The Outlanders, which should be out in early October; and I’ve begun work on the third book, Eagle Sage. We’re hoping to release it in December.

When discussing self-editing with less experienced writers, I often start by saying that the secret is creating distance between the writing experience and the editing experience. Without that distance, the manuscript feels stale, and I’m unable to see the mistakes I might have missed while drafting the book. And, for me at least, the best way to facilitate that distancing is to put the manuscript away for a while.

Clearly, not everyone has […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Cutting Out the Filler

We’ve recently learned that our younger daughter is gluten-intolerant. (Yes, this is relevant. I promise. Bear with me.) And in discovering this, we have learned we can’t always assume we know what’s in the food we’ve been eating. It’s not that apples suddenly have gluten in them, but rather that lots of processed foods have hidden fillers, and these fillers often include gluten-rich ingredients.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m in the process of editing my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle (Children of Amarid, The Outlanders, Eagle-Sage) for reissue later this year. Children of Amarid is already in production and on schedule for a July release, and I’m most of the way through The Outlanders right now.

I’ve noticed an incredible amount of extra verbiage in my early books — filler, if you will: superfluous words that add little to the storytelling, but clutter up my prose. For the wordiness-intolerant, […]

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The Beginning of the END part Four — More on the Small Press

Morning, y’all!

I ended two weeks ago with a bit of the pros and cons when dealing with small presses, over big presses, and there were just as many cons as pros when it came to dealing with and being published by New York houses. I’d like to concentrate on one single pro today, and how it may often be better than dealing with big houses and with self-publishing.

(With apologies to Di, and her post on Friday!)

Pros for working with a small press? In my opinion is this – Writers get a bigger percentages on electronic sales. NYC offers a standard 25%. Most small presses offer 50% net. And the money flows to the author. A lot of people are going the self-pub route, because they think they can make a high percentage with the first check, and they are right on a sale-by-sale percentage. But that isn’t […]

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Friday Fundamentals — Track Changes, Pages Edition

Hi there! I know many of our regulars are off having fun at ConNooga, so I’m going to hold down the fort here on Magical Words and talk about track changes some more! Since we talked about using Word for Mac last week, I’m going to keep to the Mac theme for one more week. When I’m back in two weeks, I will do the same for PC.

Note: You can click on the images to make them bigger!


First, all of the track changes options are a little harder to find in Pages. But, honestly, I think it’s a whole lot easier to use.


The image above is your main screen and the part that’s marked is where you toggle track changes on and off and where you add comments. So easy!

Changing the View

In Pages, there are fewer options for seeing the changes, […]

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Round 1…WRITE!


Hey there, writers.

I have a quest for you, if you choose to take it.

Post 100 (or fewer) words of your WIP (work in progress) in the comments below, and I will offer you editorial advice on it!

The advice I offer will be heavily grammatical and mechanical, but I will also give advice on word choice, pacing, character, clarity, etc. as appropriate.

Also, feel free to comment on your fellow writers’ work.

Now, show me what you’ve got!




David B. Coe: My New Old Book

Hello again, Magical Words! Great to be back here as I begin the publicity ramp-up to another book release.

The new book is called Spell Blind, and it’s the first book in a new contemporary urban fantasy series, the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, that I’m writing for Baen Books. The hardcover of Spell Blind drops on January 6, 2015. The second book in the series, His Father’s Eyes, will be out this summer.

This is actually a series that I’ve discussed here on MW in the past. The first book, in a substantially different form, sold initially to Meisha Merlin back in 2005. Not long after, Meisha Merlin went out of business, and I was fortunate enough to get back the rights to the books before they became entangled in the company’s Chapter Eleven negotiations. But when Lucienne and I put the books back on the market we couldn’t […]

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Beth Bernobich: The Revision Monster

The moment you finish your first draft, you are filled with delight. (And often, exhaustion.)

But let’s focus on the delight. You did it! You finished this most amazing and wonderful novel and you hope everyone loves it as much as you do, which is lots and lots and lots and…

Eventually you stop squeeing and climb down from the clouds. Maybe you spend a week or so retrieving your house from chaos. You catch up on life and family and everything else you neglected, including sleep.

Finally, a week or a month later, you open up the document for your amazing, sparkling draft and…

And here, the reactions vary. Some writers revise as they go along. They end up with a first draft that’s really a final draft. But others (like me) stare at the screen with dismay.

How am I ever going to fix this? I wonder.

Same […]

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