Friday, October 17, 2014

How Editing My Novel Drove Me Bats by Demetria Foster Gray, author of Sifting Through Mud

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Front Cover Only - SiftingThroughMud resized smallTitle: Sifting Through Mud
Author: Demetria Foster Gray
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 276
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 The death of Nyla's husband comes as a shock to everyone except Nyla. What’s shocking to Nyla is her inability to grieve his death like a typical loving wife should grieve. But Nyla isn't a typical loving wife. She's a woman in desperate need to breathe. The oxygen in her life has long gone, and the astonishing thing she feels from her husband's death is relief, not grief. Even more astonishing is the rare and unexpected friendship which develops between Nyla and her dead husband's mistress. However, Nyla isn’t aware her new best friend is a former mistress. And as their friendship deepens into an unshakable bond, Nyla is forced to face secrets her husband took with him to his grave. This means she has to sift through mud to unravel the truth. A truth that’s better off dead. Yet through it all, the one thing which makes Nyla violently breathless, is the exact same thing that causes her to finally breathe.  

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How Editing My Novel Drove Me Bats
By Demetria Foster Gray 

As a writer, I know editing comes with the territory. There’s no way around it. A novel must go through several stages of editing before even considering unleashing it unto the public. Of course, I knew this while writing my debut novel Sifting Through Mud, but I never expected the editing process to have such a strong hold on me to render me senseless. Let me explain.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve spent my career as a marketing and technical writer. In this role, the variety of business and technical documents I’d created usually required only one or two rounds of editing. With this mentality ingrained in me, I was confident the editing phase for my novel wouldn’t be a drawn out, gut-wrenching process. I was wrong. Editing a novel is totally different from technical and business documents. Editing a novel really….truly….sucks. 
Once the fun part of writing the novel is over and the first draft completed, in walks the second, third, and fourth draft, and if not careful the fifth, sixth and seventh. Why all the rounds? That’s the same question I asked, in which I could only answer with a description of what I call the “Oh My God” stages of editing. 
Stage #1
Oh my god, I just finished writing an entire book, but now it needs editing. This means I have to read through it again, but my brain needs at least a week off to refresh. Except one week turns into a few weeks as procrastination slithers in.
Stage #2
Oh my god, it’s the second draft and I can’t believe all the boring scenes, weird dialogue, and disconnected subplots. A serious overhaul needs to be had. Rewrite. Delete. Rewrite. Delete.
Stage #3
Oh my god, I can’t believe all the constructive criticism my small (but fiercely deadly) critique group gave me. They found errors in the storyline (and everywhere else) I didn’t see. You mean I have to read through this story again—for the third time?
Stage #4
Oh my god, if I have to read this story for a fourth time, I’m going to take a sharp pencil and poke my eyes out. Draft four is now in the hands of my editor, and she’s perusing it with a fine tooth comb. Checking it for content, structure, factual inconsistencies, and then an overall line editing. Ughh!
Stage #5
Oh my god, look at all these editor edits. When is it going to end? 
Stage #6
THANK GOD it’s over! I’m ready for publication. Hooray! But wait...there’s still the matter of reading (again) and approving the final galley proof. Arghh!!! (And even then errors can slip into the published version.) 
No one ever said editing a novel was easy, and no one ever said while doing so you’d want to slit your wrists. At least no one ever told me. However, holding the final published book in your hands for the first time makes the labor of love well worth it.

Head-Shot_sidebar2Demetria Foster Gray is a novelist, freelance writer, and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Marketing Communications and spent the bulk of her career writing for the corporate world. Creating fictional characters and building stories has always been her first love. A native of the Chicago, IL area, Demetria now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Sifting Through Mud is her debut novel.

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Her latest book is the contemporary women's fiction novel, Sifting Through Mud.

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Demetria is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 1 Free Ebook copy of Sifting Through Mud!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and 1 ecopy of her book.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends on November 1.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for allowing me to guest post today. I truly appreciate your sharing your space with me.