5K Editing: Mile 1 to 1.5

You’ve crossed the starting line. You’re off and running, surrounded by hundreds of runners. It’s a little congested, and you feel like you might trip over someone. But you don’t, and little by little, it thins out. Runners start passing you, and you even pass a few. You round a bend. There’s a clock—you’ve only been running for 2 minutes, and you’re not close to the one mile marker…But you’ve committed to run without stopping until the halfway point. You’ve got this!

Your running buddy starts to pick up speed, moving a few paces in front of you. You know you’re holding her back. You yell for her to just go! She flies ahead and is soon out of sight. You wish she’d stayed with you, but you know that this is her first race and you want her to do the best she can. Besides, you’re both going to reach the finish line—even though it’ll be at different times. You smile and let her go …

**Pauses to sing (Admit it, you can’t read or say that phrase anymore without singing it!)

 let

You stop singing just as you reach the one mile marker. The time has you grinning. If you can keep that time up for the next 2.1 miles, you’ll beat your time. You go down the hill, remembering it from last year. The halfway mark is coming up.

WATER BREAK! YES!

Mile 1.5! You’ve reached the halfway mark! You stop running to drink your ice cold water—but you’re still walking fast. You finish the water, toss the cup, and then begin running again–setting a pace that you can keep until the finish line!

5K EDITING

Your editor finally read your whole novel. SHE LOVES IT, and can’t stop thinking about it, even days later!! She tells you that the beginning and ending need to be reworked . . . But great news: Your middle doesn’t sag!!

You get to work. It seems to take forever to get the first three chapters just right. You write, rewrite, rearrange, divide, and take out lines that you love (but add some wonderful new ones) . . . You work until you both feel it’s been thinned to “perfection.” Now you’re off! Edits are coming in faster–you happily notice that there aren’t as many edits to be added. You feel great.

A great friend moves ahead in her writing career! She’s publishing–seems to be flying ahead. You cheer her on, telling her to go!! You don’t get mad or jealous, you just keep plugging along with your edits. After all, you’re both going to reach publication—even though it’ll be at different times.

You’re almost to the halfway point of your novel!

CELEBRATION BREAK: You’re amazing editor gets engaged! You’re soooo thrilled for her, but your book gets set aside for awhile. You stop editing so you can hang out, ogle over wedding magazines, try on dresses (her dress and your bridesmaid dress!!) share ideas . . . SMILE . . . SQUEAL . . . DANCE!

let2

After a time of your “celebrating-detour”, you’re both refreshed and ready to get back to the editing! You can do this!

 

5K Editing: Before the Starting Line

This year (since the last 5K) has been filled with agent hunting, rejection letters, networking (I’ve connected with several amazing authors!) editing, editing, and EDITING–with the exception of November when I wrote 66,000 words for NaNoWriMo. I’ve learned and incorporated several techniques that have greatly improved my writing. I love learning. Love the editing process. Yes, there were days when I wanted to quit, but I kept in mind that all the editing was just taking my WIP from good to GREAT!

I’m going to break up this 5K series a little differently:

Before the Starting Line

Mile 1 to Mile 1.5 (with water break)

Mile 1.5 to 3

Bonus: .1 Miles

Crossing the Finish Line & Beyond

BEFORE THE STARTING LINE

It’s your second 5K. You quickly fill out the paperwork  and send it in. You decide you should actually train more for this one. You get a running buddy who tells you she wants to run in the 5K with you!

The day of the race arrives. You’re excited. You’ve been here before. You know what to expect. You know you can do this…after all you did survive last year! You think about last year’s race, reliving the agony and the feelings of accomplishment. You gear up. Sneakers: Check. Running Uniform: Check. Several water bottles: Check. Check. One Running Buddy: Check…Oh, surprise, her brother wants to run too! You all pile in your van, chatting excitedly, and drive to the race. This is going to be great!

You set goals again:

     1. Don’t be last.

     2. Don’t die, get injured or throw up.

     3. Run more than you did last year.

     4. Beat your time from last year!!

You can’t wait to get started! But . . . It’s taking forever. The race was supposed to start at nine, but it’s already way past that. The megaphone guy hasn’t told you to go to the starting line. WAITING . . ..

WAITING . . . .

WAITING . . .

While you wait, you drink water (which cause you to visit the Port-a-Potty 5 times). You talk a lot because you’re nervous and just want to get going. You join your running group for picture time–Which you confidently and happily walk over and pose for. You’re a real runner, of course you should get your picture taken!

(Can you find me? :) )

And then . . . YEAH! The megaphone guy finally woke up. “All runners to the starting line. Race starts in 5 minutes!”

5K EDITING

Your novel is done! You go back through it with a purple pen and a highlighter. You know your novel–you’ve been here before. It’s fun to relive the story and laugh at lines you totally forgot about. But as you read, you realize you should probably hire an editor to give you “fresh eyes.”

CUTTING IN HERE: I’m sooooo blessed to have 2 amazing editors! LaJoie and my dad…I know what you’re thinking. “Your dad won’t be tough on you! He’ll think every word you wrote is wonderful!” Well, my dad is tough, and I so appreciate it. (My dad is a very talented writer!) He told me that he was scared to read BOUND because he didn’t want to have to tell me to take up knitting. But then he did read it….and was surprised at how much he LOVED it!! It was an interesting journey. Dad read BOUND out loud to me. To hear him read from the POV of a 17-year-old girl: Priceless (And super embarrassing at times…especially the kissing scenes! *BLUSHES) BONUS: having a guy’s perspective on male dialogue is awesome! All my guys sound like guys, thanks to my dad!

You search for the perfect editor. You find one and send her your novel. You start to get nervous. What if she hates it? Days go by . . .

WAITING . . .

WAITING . . .

WAITING . . .

While you wait for her response to your words and answer: You write up a query letter and a proposal and then edit those several times. You read and write. You send out letters to agents…You get rejection letters. You get your professional author photos taken. Because you are a REAL author! (Have to be prepared for when you make it!)

And then . . . The editor sends you a note. She read your whole novel and loves it! She can’t stop thinking about it, even days later. The best news, she agrees to become your editor!

LET THE EDITING PARTY START!!

5K & Writing

So, I ran my second 5K yesterday. Once again, I survived! My time was higher, but I’m proud to say I ran all but 1/4 mile! HUGE improvement on last year.

People have been asking if I’m going to blog about it this year. I think I will, but instead of “running a 5K is like writing,” this year I’m going to do a series on “running a 5K is like editing.”

Stay tuned! And while you wait, check out the series “5K Novel.”

http://janelleleonard.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/5k-novel-the-starting-line/

WC Bound & The Winners!

So…I was planning on posting earlier, but my internet connection decided to take the whole day off. Decided it needed to go on vacation. Vacation? Vacation…. VACATION! What a wonderful word that is! And it’s even more WOOT-causing because I get to use it next week. Sunday through Friday you shall find me at:

WRITERS CONFERENCE

AKA:

WRITER WIFE/MOTHER REJUVENATION CAMP     

BOUNCERS ANONYMOUS

WRITERS OASIS           WRITERS HAVEN        WRITERS RETREAT

CREATIVE JUICES CHARGER              INSPIRATION FEST        

FRONT PORCH GANG       ODD DUCK CONVENTION

As you can tell, I am a little excited to get to my home away from home. To relax, rejuvenation, be revived, and inspired. To be around a whole group of people who are unique in our sameness. A group of people passionate about writing and learning and growing as a person and as a writer. CANNOT WAIT! I’m going to try to post while I’m there, so stay tuned to learn as I do!

And now, before I go find a rocking chair and close my eyes, it’s GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments, new followers, likes and encouragement I received from hosting Mary Jane Hathaway on my blog! It was tons of fun. Think I’ll do it again soon!

GIVEAWAY WINNERS*

Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits:

Pam Hunter

M. Weidenbenner

Laura

 

 

Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs

Maria    

Kelli H.   

Lynda E

*Names were put in a cup and picked by my middle son.

Winners please email your shipping address to: volleyball143@yahoo.com so we can get you your new book!!

CONGRATS!!

YAA! Chat with Mary Jane Hathaway

Introducing Mary Virginia Munoz, or as her books like to call her:

MARY JANE HATHAWAY

JL: I’m sooo excited to have you on my blog today. Thanks for agreeing to be the first interview on YAA! Chat. And thank you for donating for the book GIVEAWAY!

MH: Thank you for having me, and I’m absolutely honored to be your first interview!

JL: Before I start the questioning, I just wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, and I’ve seriously fallen in love with your books!! I like LOVE all things Jane Austen, so of course I had to read your Jane Austen Takes the South series. Boy was I in for a pleasant didn’t-get-much-else-done-for-the-rest-of-the-week reading spree. Your books aren’t merely entertaining twists or retellings of the classics. Yes, they have all the main hero/heroine, major plot points, themes, love story, and ending, but the journey to get there is a refreshing, very well-written surprise! And I must say, you definitely win the TASTEFULLY HOT award! Especially for Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs! *Cue self-fanning*

Some “Serious” Writer Questions

JL: Where do you get the inspiration for your character names?

MH: Ohhh, so funny you ask. I take their names from the books in front of me on my desk. Franklin Keene is from my Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, for example.

JL: I absolutely love your covers! Who designed/inspired your them?

MH: I have about 3 different versions on my covers. The first version was a stack of books, which did NOT scream romance, so that was very confusing for some readers. I got reviews that said, “I thought this was a history book about food”! The next cover was very pretty and simple. The first professional cover was through the Killion Group. And these are by Howard Books. They have a great design team!

JL: What’s your favorite way/method to get past writer’s block?

MH: Dishes. And take a hot shower. Something about NOT being able to write anything down unlocks that place in my brain.

JL: Did you do anything weird while researching this series?

MH: I actually like to try out all the food my characters might be eating, so when I’m working on an Austen takes the South book, we eat a lot of interesting dishes! And I like to watch a lot of documentaries.

JL: Do you outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you? (Plotter, Pantster, or my favorite, Staller (You play on Pinterest, facebook, clean, do tons of research—not much actual writing until deadline time…LOL)

MH: HAHAHAHA! I haven’t heard that one! I’m definitely more of a Panster, but with a twist. After I write the scene, I scribble in a big map I have. I write down who, what, where, and when. Then I step back and see how it matches with what happened before. I might move it, but it gives me a good idea of what’s happening next… even though it’s backwards.

JL: Which actors/actresses do you have in mind to play your main characters?

MH: Ohhh, someone asked me that once and I had no idea. I don’t really watch many movies, but I see Shelby as tender-hearted girl with a tough exterior. I’ve seen Sandra Bullock play a character like that and she was just perfect. Hardnosed and funny, then so vulnerable she made me weep! And I used Richard Armitage’s picture for inspiration with PPCG. For me, he can look very serious and dour, when on the inside, he’s actually feeling something else. He has a good “make my day” face.

 The Randomness Questions

Favorite accent: I LOVE the New Orleans accent. *swoon*

What do you have on your fridge door?: Lots of kid art! I try to put ‘to do’ lists there and they just get covered with art.

What’s your favorite joke?: “What’s green and has wheels?”

“Grass. I lied about the wheels.”

What was your last dream about?: Hm. I have no idea. I don’t sleep much, and when I do, I don’t think I dream! But the last one I really remember was being in a giant house and trying to round up all my kids. Just when I’d get four or so, I’d lose a few and start looking again. I’d get close to getting them all together, but never quite finding all of them in all those rooms. Very funny…

Favorite party game: Quelf! My kids make me play it and I laugh my fool head off.

Would you like to build/design your own house? What would it be modeled after?: Interesting question! When we moved to our house, we had one child. It had two rooms and one bathroom. Ten years later we had six kids and it STILL had two rooms and one bathroom. Yikes. So we recently built on and that was a very fun/frustrating project. We had to interview contractors and make plans. If we had to start from scratch I’d definitely build up, not out. My husband likes the ranch style homes, while I prefer stairs and levels.

When writing with ink, which color do you prefer?: Thick black.

Choose a movie title for the story of your life: Cheaper by the Dozen, haha!

What color is your toothbrush?: Purple

What’s your favorite quote?: I love quotes. I have hundreds of them written down. But one of my favorites is from Anne Lamott about writing:

“I’ve managed to get some work done nearly every day of my adult life, without impressive financial success. Yet I would do it all over again in a hot second, mistakes and doldrums and breakdowns and all. Sometimes I could not tell you exactly why, especially when it feels pointless and pitiful, like Sisyphus with cash-flow problems. Other days, my writing is like a person to me― the person who, after all these years, still makes sense to me.”

I loved that and it resonated with me because I feel like the whole process of writing and creating and publishing is very personal, and each process is different. I look back at how I wrote a book and when, and it seems that time is a blessed one for me, as if I was meeting and learning about a dear friend the entire time.

JL: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

MH: Just that this is probably the funniest interview I’ve ever done! And thanks so much for having me on your blog!

JL: So glad you came over! :)

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARY & HER WORK

 BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

All right, readers: Leave a comment for a chance to win Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits (signed!) and Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs (signed!) I’m giving away 3 copies of each, so if you can keep your friends from coming over to the blog, you might be able to get all of them to yourself!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YAA! CHAT

This has been in the I-REALLY-want-to-do-this phase for awhile. So, without thinking or talking about it anymore, I’m just gonna start it. Introducing the newest feature on my blog: 

 

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YA = Young Adult

A = Adult

! = EXCITEMENT

Chat = Interviews–a behind-the-scenes tour–with other writers.

I’m super excited about hosting (from time to time) other writers, whether just published, mega-published, or on-their-way-to-publication.

So, STAY TUNED! The first guest to appear on YAA! Chat is busily filling out the “100 random questions” questionnaire! (LOL…Just kidding…not that many, but I can safely promise that half of them WILL BE random.) 

Also…BONUS!!…a BOOK & OTHER AWESOMENESS GIVEAWAY!

Wai-Ting

I’m thinking of changing my name to Wai-Ting. Or at least making a T-shirt with WAITING printed on it. Then I can just point to it. WAITING is pretty much the answer to every question at this stage of my life:

What have I been up to lately? WAITING.

Do you know what’s going to happen next in your WIP? WAITING for a good dream/inspiration.

Have you heard anything about your book? Not yet, WAITING.

Have you heard from that agent yet? Still WAITING.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that people are interested in the happenings of my writing career. But it’s grating on me, having to answer every inquiry about my writing life with “I’m still WAITING.” Seriously, the writing life makes professional waiters out of all of us! I understand that this is a long process, and that I will get published all in good time. I just wish I could convey the long process to others so that the looks of “you do nothing”  and “You soooo need to get a job/life” would go away…

And yes, I do believe that waiting is an action word. (As I’ve said before.) There is so much that I am doing while I wait: actual writing, plotting, outlining, working on proposals for my other WIP’s, networking (meeting AMAZING authors everyday! Thank you Facebook!), making boards on Pinterest, reading YA’s–checking out what’s HOT on the market, watching YA movies, watching Sherlock & Star Trek, playing in the dirt, hanging out with my boys… All this work-in-the-waiting is just not seen by many of my question-asking friends and family…Which is probably a good thing, seeing as I drink a lot of coffee and stare at my computer an awful lot.

OK, the WAI-TING vent is over…now back to my coffee and waiting… ;)

Here’s hoping to being able to change my name to WOOT!

 

**Hmmm….if I do change my name to Wai-Ting, I think I’ll go buy a Chinese silk robe. At least I’ll look great lounging around waiting… What do you think? One like this, or a different color?