Hola, amigos!!

I hope you all have had a fabulous week so far. And if you haven’t, well, here’s some good news: Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!! Who doesn’t love Fridays? (:

Anyways, this week has been sort of a wrap-up for me. It’s my last week of classes before Christmas break, which means exams, turning in work for the semester, yata, yata, yata. You know, all the fun stuff that you love about school :/

Though, there are some good things that have come from this week! First off, I have been doing really well on reading through my manuscript. Actually, I’ve decided to map out my read-through process for any of you out there who would like to know, whether for your own writing or just simply because!! So here it goes:

1. Print out entire manuscript (or whatever you’ve written of it).

Sometimes this can be bothersome, but I really believe it helps you read more carefully, focusing on each word (versus reading on a computer screen, which typically causes you to read quickly, occasionally skipping words).

2. Get out the grading pens!!

You could go for the safe, old-fashioned red pen if you’d like, but I prefer other fun colors. I use green and purple–one color for each POV (my story alternates between the two main characters). Though, if you want to get really fancy, you could use a bunch of different colors for different purposes (such as orange for grammatical errors, pink for comments/changes in setting, green for comments/changes in characters, and so on).

3. Have some extra paper nearby.

This can be in the form of a notebook, loose leaf, or sticky notes (which I prefer). The point of this paper is to write comments that won’t necessarily fit on the actual manuscript. Or, if you’re extremely OCD and don’t actually want to mark on the manuscript, you could just write on these separate sheets of paper…I guess… Anyways, this paper is also for reminding you to refer back to a certain scene if necessary. For instance, say you decide to alter a part of your story (this could be a great or small alteration), and you know that from this change you will have to also change a part in the future of the story, or the past which you’ve already read through. Instead of breaking your flow to go all the way back (or forward) to the part in question, make a note of it so that you can deal with it later. I use sticky notes because I can stick them directly on the page I’m speaking about, and they’re easy to spot when looking back through the manuscript.

4. Focus, focus, focus!!!

This can sometimes be the hardest step because it requires complete attention. For me, I must be in a quiet area (preferably alone) so that I won’t have any distractions. Also, I find it helpful to read aloud–this is good for determining whether or not a sentence/paragraph flows smoothly–so it would be slightly awkward for me to just start reading my book around a bunch of people. Plus, I find that distractions around me cause me to lose my train of thought, sometimes even making me forget something I was wanting to comment on or a change I was wanting to make. Forgetting these things drives me CRAZY. And crazy me is not fun to be around. (;

5. Have fun!

Don’t make it a chore, or something you MUST get done. It should be something you WANT to get done. It’s far more enjoyable to read when you actually want to do it (think reading for pleasure versus summer reading for school. Blech). For me, reading my story is almost always enjoyable because I feel very close to my characters. I get really in to reading through my story sometimes. Actually, today I was reading it in one of my classes and I nearly started laughing out loud while reading a certain scene. And besides that, I enjoy writing comments like “You’re a jerk” and “What a wimp” and “Admit it. You like her” on the manuscript. These little things just help me to enjoy it even more! (;

6. Go back and edit it.

For me, I do this after reading through the ENTIRE manuscript. I like having it all done before going back to the computer and making the changes. But some people may do it in stages, so there’s not as much to get done at one time. Whatever works for you, I guess! (:

So that’s about all I have to say about reading and editing my story. On a random note, my puppy is trying to sleep on my lap as I type this. About a minute ago he woke up abruptly from a noise outside my room, and he bumped his head on my desk. The look on his face was super adorable, though I felt really bad for him. ): He’s okay now. Sleeping again.

Oh, and speaking of my puppy, I took him to see Santa Claus the other day. Wanna see a picture?? Puppy kisses are great, aren’t they? (;

(This picture was taken by Mrs. Becky Steen. Such a sweet lady!!)

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Well, that’s it for tonight, folks. Have a safe, blessed week!!

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.” -Proverbs 10:28 (NIV)

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