Showing posts with label Editing Services. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Editing Services. Show all posts

Sunday, July 5, 2015

More About What I learned from James Patterson

I'm thrilled to have just finished writing the first complete draft of my debut psychological thriller, and novella, "Sheer Panic." Although I had already started writing this story with no outline, and not knowing how it would progress, I decided to stop and get the outline down.

Here's the start of it.

1. Tori avoids Roderick, 'the Freak' as she enters the cafeteria at college. He has been harassing her for a while and she is afraid to report him, in case he retaliates. (Here's where I know I should make a new chapter -- each chapter should be one scene.) Later, Dorky Dorian tries to flirt with her when she is putting her stuff into her locker. Her friend Janet tells her she's weird because she has opted not to go to Panama City Beach at Spring Break. Instead, she has agreed to babysit her niece so her sister can go. She never discusses the real reason she is afraid to go with her friends.

2. One afternoon when Tori is taking her neighbor's dog, Panda, for a walk in the park, Dorky Dorian tries to force himself on her and the dog attacks him. Panda's owner, Mrs. Stanley tells Tori she should get a dog of her own for protection. Tori reflects on her love life. She knows it's a total disaster, and if she had a steady boyfriend the weird men would leave her alone.

3. Tori is friended on Facebook by Lance, the boy she chased at high school to no avail. Although it seems a little odd that he has suddenly had a change of heart, and decided to pursue a relationship with her, she is still totally smitten with him, and she goes along with it. She hopes it will turn into something serious, and take her mind off the stolen kiss with her sister's boyfriend, Dan that has been plaguing her. (This scene needs something to make it more exciting.)

4. Tori takes her niece, Shari horse riding and sexy Joaquim .... etc.

Once I had completed the outline, it was easy to write the story, although it's still in the first draft rough format. I found that I deviated a little from the outline when I came up with a better idea, and as I went along, I changed the outline at times. I love the finished draft.

Here are some other things James talked about in his videos:

  • First lines -- We all know it is essential to capture your audience right away, yet so many writers start with something mundane and boring. Mine is:                                                          "I just don't get why your love life is such a total mess," Janet said.  "It's just not right. It's not that hard. You must be the only nineteen-year-old in the whole school who isn’t getting laid."
  • Be yourself. Imagine you're sitting across the table from your best friend telling them the story of a movie you watched. If you wouldn't use pompous and puffed up language and fancy words when speaking to them, you shouldn't be using them in your writing.
  • Try writing a couple of different endings. Make them as outrageous as you can. I did this and absolutely loved the new one I came up with. It was far more exciting than the original ending.
  • Try writing the same piece in the POV of more than one character. You could fall in love with a version you never thought about before.
  • Don't be afraid to break the rules. Whatever works for you is okay. We're all different, and so are our readers.
  • Do your research. Don't just wing it. You must know what you are writing about to build credibility.
  • Don't be afraid to rewrite if it doesn't feel right to you.

More in my next post.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Every Writer Needs a Good Editor

"Trish is the corner man every author should have in the publishing ring." I was thrilled to get this wonderful review from Canadian Kevin Zdrill after I helped him with his newest novel Crazy Mixed-up World. (Click here to buy it on

"I found Trish by chance while searching the web for an individual who could provide my fiction novel a critical and polished editorial assessment. My chance discovery with Trish was an author’s dream. Trish is a caring, passionate individual with profound editorial skills, a tremendous depth of knowledge in the publishing industry and possesses an amazing warmth to go the extra mile teaching and assisting me with my book to bring it up to industry standards. Having Trish involved with my book validated it had reached its potential as a creditable novel.
A tremendous distinction that separates Trish from so many other editors is that she is a highly accomplished author. Her insight into the industry is timely and relevant.
Any author who has the ambition to elevate the polish of their novel will achieve this goal under the guidance of Trish and her services. My experience with Trish exceeds any university course on writing, marketing and publishing. Trish is a one room classroom that will teach an author on all the aspects required to help in the success of a challenging publishing world. Like any champion boxer, Trish is the corner man every author should have in the publishing ring."


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Editing and Formatting Services

I always try to support indie writers by buying their books, but more often than not I am disappointed and unable to read to the end. Why? Because they have not been edited. Yes, they've been spell checked. But I just can't read books that clearly need help.

Everyone needs to have their work edited. Even best selling authors have editors, and I am thrilled to have started to offer editing services at my website:

I recently offered to help my old friend Chris Pocock in Zimbabwe self-publish his book on Amazon's Createspace.

When he sent the manuscript to me he said he had not had a chance to have it edited, and asked if I would also do that for him.

I was glad he recognized the importance of editing, and because he and I have been friends since we rode horses together in our high school days, I agreed.

His book is non-fiction, entitled The Story of Polocrosse in Zimbabwe, and it covers 60 years of history of the sport. I was very impressed with the amount of information it contained, and how much work Chris had done putting it all in order, together with a lot of photographs and line drawings.

He was quite right, it did need editing, and I found that I really enjoyed that part. It also needed to be formatted for publication, which is not too difficult once you have done it a few times.

Chris had an idea of what he wanted for a cover, but he didn't know how to create one that would conform to Createspace's specifications. This is what we came up with when we put our head together:
Next, we had to figure out what we were going to do with the back cover, and here it is. It took some adjustments to get it right for publication, but the book will be available any day now, as soon as it has passed the review process.
I have also been helping a friend in Australia to format and submit his book, "SILF" and its cover to Createspace. He designed the cover himself. The book is now available, which is great.

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to offer my services to others, but it is very time consuming, and I work, so I have to charge something for doing it, but I've made it as inexpensive as I possible can. This is my new website:

I'm ready and willing to start helping independent authors, so please contact me for pricing info. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.