Saturday, August 24, 2013

Guest Blog & Giveaway - The Letter

~~~Guest Post~~~
 How My Self-editing Has Changed

By Marianne Spitzer
My first round of self-editing was one big headache. I had read and printed out many articles on how to do the first round of edits. I decided to follow each article and do what it suggested.
One had a list of words that should never be used. I used the “search” feature to find the words and chose a different word or what I thought was a better word. For example, one suggestion was never to use the word “very.” Writing very angry wasn’t acceptable. Livid or furious was a much better word. It took me hours to go through my work searching for each of the words and changing them.
There were other suggestions about only using the word “said” because it made the reading flow faster. Another one explained how using the word said made your work boring and use it sparingly. A third article said to mix them up. This also took me hours to use the search feature to find the words and rewrite the sentences.
Once I had rid my work of all the words that shouldn’t be there, I had to begin to read for content and proper descriptions. I found many places where I needed to bulk up my descriptions and I took a lot of time doing that, too.
My final step was to read the work aloud, but I used the feature on my Kindle to upload a document and listen to it being read to you. I found a lot of errors that way. It is easy to read over a missed word or a word written twice, but you hear it. Unfortunately, words such as your and you’re sound alike and must be found by reading through the work.
Now, I have made some changes in how I write which helps how I edit. I have a list of those not to be used words in my head and I try not to use them while I am writing. I can now find them by reading without using the “search” feature to find them all.
I still use the word “said,” but am learning the “show not tell” rule. It takes care of most of the need for the words we use instead of said. I also, write a bit slower and add much of my descriptions as I go. Doing that makes editing quicker since I don’t have to spend as much time adding the descriptions.
I still use my Kindle to listen, but I read along to catch those sound alike words. Making those small changes have made self-editing easier and faster.   

~~~Book Details~~~

Kellie, a young college grad laid off from her first teaching job and besieged by creditors, receives a letter requesting her appearance at the reading of Frederick Malone’s will. What could she have in common with the town’s richest man? Curiosity draws her to the will reading where she learns she has inherited a vast sum. The conditions of her inheritance require she change her name and reside in the Malone mansion. Long considered haunted by the residents of Malone Springs, Kellie, her fiancé and four friends move in ignoring the rumors. Strange and frightening events begin to plague Kellie before she moves and grow more frightening once she and her friends settle in. Adopted at birth, her adoptive parents killed in an auto accident leave Kellie to investigate her ancestors on her own. What she discovers leads her into more danger and mystery as she learns the true nature of her biological grandfather. Could his evil deeds hurt her from beyond the grave? Who’s responsible for the strange occurrences? What happened to her biological parents? As one solved mystery leads Kellie into another, she and her friends try to solve them all before tragedy strikes.
This book also contains the supernatural/mystery short story "MEGAN'S FEAR."

Marianne Spitzer’s Books
Purchase Link: Amazon

I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.

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