My friend Grace Anne Schaefer spent the weekend with us. Her husband Ken drove her down from their home near Austin – she had heart surgery a few months ago and wasn’t ready for the long drive alone.
We have been truly blessed to have these wonderful people in our lives – the friendship between Grace Anne and me began in college, and our husbands became good friends after our marriages.
Grace Anne came down for us to edit her second novel, As Shadows Fall, sequel to The New Day Dawns in the People of the Frozen Earth series. But we never get together – regardless of the reason – without having fun. Ken, Grace Anne, my husband Jack, and I went out to dinner Friday before Ken headed back home. Grace Anne and I found time to visit between our work sessions, and we shared many laughs as we worked.
We finished a little over half of the edits, so Grace Anne will come back again to finish. Then the manuscript and cover art will be sent off the book designer, and after he works his magic, the books will be printed. Then you can enjoy this pre-historic Indian saga. If you order The New Day Dawns, you can read it first and be ready for Book Two:-)
Now for the writing advice: We have found the most effective method for the final round of editing (after several previous edits as well as input from first readers) is to read the story aloud. Grace Anne usually reads aloud as I follow on the computer screen. For some reason, it’s much easier to catch errors when reading aloud than when reading silently. And not just awkward sentences, missing words … things you would expect to “hear.” We found so many commas that didn’t belong or that should have been periods, we decided the Comma Fairy had sprinkled commas like fairy dust throughout the document:-)
I strongly recommend that you read your manuscript aloud after you think you’ve finished editing – you may be amazed at what the Comma Fairy or Misspelling Fairy or some other Fairy has done to your manuscript.