Tag Archives: AutoCrit

Revision time

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”

William Faulkner

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo 50K word marathon, I am revising the manuscript to my second book. Here are the takeaways from a recent webcast on self-editing sponsored by Autocrit.

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Autocrit is a self-editing software that leverages algorithms to check manuscripts. It even compares your writing to other well-known writers. That’s the short description of a program that focuses solely on fiction, after the developers have scanned thousands of books to create the algorithms.
“It serves as a gage how many adverbs you have used,” said Kevin.
However, I am like most people and I hate doing the same stuff over. But other than the fun suggestion and revisiting the copy, several highlights shocked me and inspired me.
Ally suggested to write an outline of the first draft; that goes definitely for pansters. This can help reorganize the structure of the plot or subplot.
“Assess what you have,” she said. “Look for gaps in the plot.”
Secondly, introduce the “inciting incident” early on in the manuscript depending on genre.
“Don’t wait until you have written 18,332 words,” Ally said.
And Grant of NaNoWriMo delivered the golden nugget in a quote from William Faulkner:
“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
Easier said, than done. First you have to spot them, before the reader does.
“How do you recognize your darlings that can impede your story?” asked Grant.
Darlings are usually something that you are overly attached to in the story line. It can be an extensive backstory without enough action or you are injecting yourself into the book.
“Does this need to be there?” asked Grant.
“How long should you spend editing your manuscript?” a participant asked.
No right answer here. According to experts, some people spend more time editing their manuscript than they spent writing the first draft.
Always have a print copy, that you can take with you away from the computer.
“It changes your mindset,” Ally said.
To be continued as I work through the manuscript, and finish one last story.
Autocrit experts say you can edit chapter by chapter, or story by story.
You can still enter the Autocrit giveaway until Jan. 31 using this link:
http://bit.ly/2S6ZymM
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Emma in 2019

Picking up speed with excerpts from new “Secrets”

Most of us can relate to slow starts after the holidays. On top of the holiday indolence, I’ve been sick too. And I even got my first ever flu shot in 2018 inspite of my wavering doubt about the effectiveness of the vaccine. This is the first day that “I feel like a human being.” That’s a quote from colleague writer Tamela Spicer.

What’s coming down the pipeline?

I am working on two last stories to complete the second book Shifting Sands: Secrets. (c) 2019 Emma Palova. It is a sequel to Shifting Sands: Short Stories. I will let the manuscript run through the AutoCrit self-editing software for fiction to test it and review it.

I found out about AutoCrit during the #NaNoWriMo 50K word marathon in November. It has reasonably good reviews. A webcast on self-editing using the software is scheduled for Jan. 22 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Below is the link to the webcast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmrIsIvEw3Q

I will most likely self-publish on the kdp self-publishing platform, since anything else is a complex labyrinth of paths with dead ends.

Looking for reviewers

On the other hand, I am an eternal optimist, so I will pitch the individual stories via the app Submittable to different markets. Any new book needs reviews, any reviews.

Let me know if you would like to write a review. All Advance Reader Copies (ARC) are always free. You get to read something no one else has read before; now that’s pretty special.

Touring with books

I am also in the process of creating a tour for the new book Secrets. My first targeted event is on April 6 at the Author’s Fair in Detroit.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/annual-authors-fair-2019-tickets-50594326994

I am imposing a deadline on the memoir project “Greenwich Meridian” about the family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia. I am taking this book to the event Books Alive! in Ludington on July 19 in conjunction with Ludington’s Friday Night Live.

This event is possible thanks to author Joan H. Young from Scottville.

I am also looking forward to continuing my partnership with LowellArts for book signings and the upcoming playwright festival.

Excerpt from short story “40 Hunks” in Secrets

They were crossing the Sonoran Desert west of Nogales. Jose felt the pocket of his jeans for a piece of paper. He pulled it out to look at it for the 100th time as they were nearing the border.

It was the letter from the US Department of Agriculture giving him permission to cross the border to the US with the 40 men sleeping behind his back. Before they boarded the bus, Jose had to make sure they were the right men. Most of them didn’t have any IDs, so he trusted them and tried to match up the names with the list from the government.

The list was far from being exact, but Jose knew once they entered the US territory, they would be assigned a permanent work guide. From there on, it was none of his business what’s going to happen with these men. The guides were correction officers borrowed from the regional correctional facilities in the US.

The border patrol in Nogales searched the smelly bus and studied Jose’s driver’s license and that piece of paper.

“How do you know who’s who?” barked a sweating guard with an AK47 across his shoulder, at Jose.

“Vaguely. I know that I have 40 men,” said Jose also sweating.

The guard boarded the bus and walked in the aisle examining each face, holding the piece of governmental paper in his hand.  He stopped and looked closely at one man. The men were wide awake now. He leaned over the hulky man taking in his odor.

“Who are you?” he asked with his face distorted in an evil grimace.

Jose walked up to the two men in the back of the bus.

“Hey, amigo,” he said to the guard. “They don’t speak English.”

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