Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#AuthorApril: E is for Escape, Edits, & E. Lockhart #AtoZChallenge

Dear Alison,

E is for Escape, and that's what books provide me--a means to escape. My life shifted into hyper-warp speed back in March. I've managed to keep up with it, but it seems with every hat I wear ($10 baseball caps and visors, not those fancy $800 hats from that shop you mentioned where you're not even permitted to touch the feathers) everything's taking thirty to sixty minutes longer than it should, Caffeine and I are having a not-so-secret love affair. My only escape is reading books. When I slip into the pages of a book, I lose myself. I forget the time, my To Do list, tomorrow. I escape, and Alison, in this crazy world called life, everyone needs an escape.


E is for Edits. My edits for Starr Fall, Book One came in the day after I submitted Book Two for review. The day after my body and my brain hit the wall. The idea of the dreaded editorial letter and the bruises I still suffered from my crash made me reluctant to click on the email. In fact, I only peeked on Day One. Day Two, I opened the document in Pages, which as you know only highlights a letter or a word but doesn't reveal the comment unless you click on it. The highlights didn't look too overwhelming, but still, I wasn't ready. Day Four, I read the letter, and the editor's comments were mostly related to formatting--Pages vs. Word. A day or two later, I downloaded the OS X updates (it took 6 hours, FYI), and by Friday, I downloaded Word. However, my weekend didn't provide a free moment for a preview of the editorial letter. On Monday, I worked out (that's my Brain Dump), printed out the letter and read it. I took another sip of chai tea to fortify myself for the inevitable edits in the manuscript and hit print.




250 pages later, (251 if you include the letter), I was ready to tackle the edits, but you know what Alison? The edits weren't that bad. I felt that I could work with the editor and the editorial letter and all the edits involved. Most of the edits dealt with House Style vs. Kim's Style. For example, the separation within a chapter from one event or scene to another.  I use ten to twenty asterisks, like this:   

**********************

House Style uses three asterisks:
***

I print in capitals and given my penchant for exclamation, I write in capitals when I really want to get a point across. 

ex. "A flash of neon draws my attention to the bouncer. A muscular guy wearing a white golf shirt shows him a picture. The fat folds in the back of the bouncer's head rub against each other. I need to get out of here...NOW!"

House Style doesn't use any bold, only italics:

NOW becomes, "I need to get out of here...Now!"

Chapter headings, I always left justify, capitalize, and write the number: 

CHAPTER 1

House Style:

Chapter One

Most of my edits were formatting edits. Easy. Doable. Simple. 

RULE BREAKER: I use a number of tables and charts in Starr Fall. For now, I'm allowed to keep these tables and charts provided they format well. They're not common in fiction. If they don't format according to House Standards, I'll have to murder my darlings (the tables, not the people.)

Larger edits deal with character placement, whether one of the characters with broken ribs can physically act in certain scenes the way I make him act (you warned me about that one), but these edits are challenges, and I enjoy challenges. In the end, Starr Fall will be a stronger book because of these edits, and dare I wish, readers will pick up Starr Fall to escape

E is for E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.

Image result for E. Lockhart











E. Lockhard guards the secrets of We Were Liars. She doesn't share, she doesn't hint, she doesn't slip, and today, I won't slip either.

Book Blurb:
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


We Were Liars provides an escape from the real world. The main character, Cadence, seeks to escape from the truth but there are secrets even she can't escape from, just as there are edits I can no longer escape from. 

Sharing the writing love one letter at a time,
Kim