Skip navigation


4 Posts tagged with the editing_process tag

When I'm working on the first draft of a novel, at times it can feel like I'm pushing an enormous boulder up a mountain. Have you ever had that feeling? It's during those periods that I have to trust what I've learned over the course of writing multiple books, which is that I have to keep going. So day after day I force myself to sit down and inch the story along, however slowly, because I know that by doing so, I will eventually reach the end.


Moving the story forward is the key to finishing the first draft. When I was writing my first novel, I spent far too much time tweaking what I'd already written instead of advancing the plot. At the time I thought that approach was a good use of my creative energy, but looking back I realize it was a form of mental procrastination. As a result it took me MUCH longer to finish that book than any of the ones I've written since. Now I don't go back and tweak or do any form of rewriting until I'm pretty much done with the (always rough, sometimes ugly) first pass. I still edit along the way, but I try to avoid anything major until the basic framework of the story is complete.


Believe me, there have been many occasions where I've had to tell myself "Maria, this book isn't going to write itself!" just to get myself to sit down in front of my computer. But I keep pushing that boulder up the mountain, slowly but steadily, because I know how great it will feel when I reach the top and get to watch that first draft roll down the other side and (eventually) turn into a fully formed novel.


-Maria Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at


You may also be interested in…


Writing Tip: Stay Committed to the Process

Discipline to Write

3,713 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, promotion, blogging, writing, writing_process, craft, writing_tips, author_tips, editing_process, writing_adivce, tips_from_author

In our second stage of writing a book, we need to establish the miles you'll be logging on this journey. We've discussed word count on this blog before in a number of different ways. Today, we want to establish what your final word count will be, or if not establish, at the very least, estimate.


Wait, you say, I've only just begun. How can I possibly know how many total words my book will be? Establishing a word count goal can be tied to many different factors. Genres adhere to unofficial word count parameters. The type of book – novel, novella, or novelette – comes into play when deciding word count. Are you doing a novel and releasing it in a serialized format? That can impact your total word count on a per release basis. You are a factor in establishing a final word count. Are you on a timetable? Do you have an outline that maps out plot points precisely, and in order to keep to your vision, a certain word count works that breaks the unwritten genre rules?


Unfortunately, there's no formula for coming up with a definitive word count, but I will say that every time I've set a word count total, I have either reached that total or surpassed it by 10-15 percent. There's something about knowing how far you need to go that allows you to find your pacing.


If you want to make an educated estimate, you can search this blog or the internet for word counts based on genre. That is your best place to start before making your final decision.


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

You may also be interested in...

General Word Count Guidelines

Stage One of Writing a Book: Idea Exploration

3,752 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, editing, writing, craft, words, word_count, writing_tips, editing_process

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.




Lessons Learned from 3 Years as an Author-Entrepreneur - The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn describes her journey since leaving her career as an IT business consultant and becoming a full-time author. 


What Does Editing Look Like? Behind The (Crime) Scene at The Editor's Screen - The Book Designer

A detailed look at what an editor actually does to your manuscript.       




How to Get Noticed as a Filmmaker - Filmmaking Stuff

Make your own breaks.    


Podcast Episode 41: Writing and Making a Feature - Projector Films

Two writers talk about the challenges, disasters, and triumphs they experienced directing their first film. 




Alternative Music Venues: Where Else Can You Play? - Bob Baker's

Bars and weddings aren't the only places to play..


Music-making Advice from Musicians That Non-musicians Might Find Useful - Music Thing

A fun tool to help musicians and non-musicians find inspiration.  


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...


Weekly News Roundup- September 19, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- September 12, 2014

2,039 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, music, filmmaking, editing, promotion, indie, movies, writing, advice, inspiration, musicians, filmmakers, author_tips, editing_process, music_venues

Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns (What a pretty house! She is tall).


Adverbs modify verbs (She types quickly), adjectives (She is extremely tall) or other adverbs (Please type more quickly).


When an adverb modifies an adjective (e.g. "she is extremely tall," no hyphen is necessary. I see many authors make this error in their book descriptions and personal bios. For example:


  • The world in this story is inhabited by fully-functional robots that act like humans (INCORRECT)
  • The tale takes place on a currently-active landfill (INCORRECT)
  • When he's not writing books, John works as a highly-trained specialist managing labor disputes (INCORRECT)


A good way to tell that a hyphen isn't necessary is to remove the adjective and leave the adverb, then see if the sentence still makes sense. For example, do these sound correct to you?


  • This world in this story is inhabited by fully robots that act like humans (SOUNDS SUPER WEIRD)
  • The tale takes place on a currently landfill (SOUNDS SUPER WEIRD)
  • When he's not writing books, John works as a highly specialist managing labor disputes (SOUNDS SUPER WEIRD)


The above sentences don't make sense because once we remove the adjectives "functional," "active" and "trained," the adverbs "fully," "currently"and "highly"aren't modifying anything.


Note: when two words are used to modify (or relate to) the same word in what is called compound modifier, a hyphen clarifies that they are both referring to that word and not to each other. For example:


  • He is a small business owner (This means he is a small man)
  • He is a small-business owner (This means he owns a small business)


I know grammar terminology is a foreign language to many people, so if you're still confused about whether or not to use a hyphen when you have an adverb followed by an adjective, try removing the adjective. If the sentence doesn't work without it, no hyphen is necessary.


-Maria Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, and Cassidy Lane. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at


You may also be interested in:

Grammar Tip: Don't Overcapitalize

Misuse of Pronouns

3,869 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: editing, author, writers, writing, draft, grammar, hyphens, grammar_tip, editing_process