Please welcome Roxanne Bland today, the author of “The Moreva of Astoreth”, who is here to talk about her editing process. I’ll leave the word to Roxanne now.
The Editing Process and Me
The common wisdom holds that a writer is supposed to power through the first draft, not worrying about spelling, grammar, plot holes and all that, and not start editing until the manuscript is finished.
I don’t work that way. It’s supposed to be a big no-no, but I edit as I write that first draft. I can’t help it. I see a misspelled word, or something that’s ungrammatical, and I can’t go on until I’ve corrected it. I suppose this is what comes of being a spelling and grammar nazi. The same with plot holes. When I realize what I’ve done—or didn’t do—I immediately go back and make the appropriate changes. Again, I can’t help it. I’m a perfectionist. Then, when the first draft is finished, I go back and correct what I may have missed. Like, I have a real love affair with commas. Why, I love them so much I use them all the time, even in places where they aren’t needed or where they aren’t supposed to be used. And then I go over the draft again. I can’t tell you how many times I go over a draft, but it’s a lot. Only when my draft is as perfect as I can make it do I send it off to the editor. As an author, I see my job as giving my editor as little to do as possible in that regard—spelling, grammar, etc. I want my editor to concentrate on where I’m telling, not showing—which I tend to do—and help me work on the story’s flow. In other words, I want her to concentrate on the high-level stuff, not that which could have been easily corrected if I had been paying attention.
I know writers who, and I’ve heard writers say, how much they hate the editing process. For the life of me, I can’t understand why. I find the editing process to be almost as much fun and exciting as writing the manuscript. I love searching for a word that will convey the exact meaning of what I’m trying to get across, instead of just using a word that’ll do. It requires owning several dictionaries and thesauruses. My personal favorite is the Oxford English Dictionary—abridged, of course. I’m not sure the unabridged version would even fit in my house. Then there’s the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, which thankfully, I can get online. And there are all kinds of thesauruses out there besides Roget’s. I don’t know—maybe it’s simply the thrill of the hunt. And I learn so much! Words are a writer’s friends. When I read the dictionary or the thesaurus, I see old friends, and I make new ones. It’s truly rewarding.
Call me crazy, but I love editing.
About the Book
Title: The Moreva of Astoreth
Author: Roxanne Bland
Genre: Science Fiction
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess who is temporarily exiled from Temple life in her beloved desert home to a volatile far northern corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
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