Monthly Archives: March 2014

Choosing an Editor

I’ve sought out several editors and received a few sample reviews. As an author you either feel elated to get some feedback or dread any kind of feedback. After my first book, I was dreading any kind of feedback. Imagine building something tangible, something that you think is the most fantastic thing to ever brew forth from your imagination, and then imagine someone comes by and tells you what could be better. That’s how it feels to send a manuscript to editing.

But there’s more. Perhaps you have heard of the author’s voice. This is the mannerism in which an author writes: short sentences, long sentences, lots of detail, lots of dialogue, minimal dialogue, to the point, and so much more. This way of telling a story is an extension of the author. It is a creative process built on blood, sweat, tears, and lots and lots of hallucinations and voices. We tell a story the way we see fit . . .

Then enter the editor to tell us what we saw fit isn’t what the reader sees fit. And so ensues a battle of the creative process. There are things to consider when getting an editor, here is my list:

  • Get a sample edit of at least 1,000 words
  • Explain your voice
  • Give a small synopsis of your story
  • Explain what you expect: line editing, review, developmental, copy editing, etc
  • Know the cost up front. Don’t waste your time or theirs.
  • Ask for references
  • Be leery of all cash up front services. Ask if there is a payment plan, and ask for an invoice of services.
  • Be sure they work in your genre
  • Ask what the ETA of editing is

There are things an author needs to be prepared for:

  • The cold hard truth
  • Lots of red marks
  • Changes to your words
  • Changes of entire sentences
  • Lots and lots of advise

Before you submit a manuscript to editing be sure you are mentally prepared. Limber up. Eat healthy. Watch funny movies. Do anything that gets you in a good frame of mind. When your manuscript comes back, you may want to do that all over again. Take a deep breath, hug a kitty, then send the kitty away because you don’t want to harm anyone of anything when you open the file.

Above all, remember you own creative rights. You don’t have to change a damn thing. That being said, after you read it the first time, walk away for a day or two and then come back after the dust has settled. Keep an open mind always.

As for me, its time to choose my editor.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Reading the Red Stuff

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The Antibiotic Trial

Ever hear the phrase, if it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all? Man oh man  has that been my week. How about the expression, when it rains it pours? Add that to my week and you get some fun, sad, and interesting tales. All of which will be incorporated into my writings for public musings.

First off: Last week I woke up feeling not quite right. I figured it was stress from not having steady hours at work and losing lots of pay. So I wake up with that, “something’s not quite right” feeling. The one where nothing is really wrong, but you just have this inkling…maybe its women’s intuition, but whatever it was landed me on my butt, back down on jagged rocks, sun trying to melt my face, as I vomited then proceeded to pass out. It felt like my heart was racing at a thousand miles a minute, but when the boyfriend (EMT/Firefighter) took my pulse it was slow and irregular. BLAH!! I don’t have time for that crap.

Second off: I went from having zero hours at work (as in: zip, zilch, nada, time to sell the farm) last week, to being triple booked this week. Pssst…that’s the when it rains it pours part. I took a new job, which makes this position #4 (ED nurse, PACU nurse, GI nurse, and ED nurse at a new facility). I was also offered a position at a place I was at before. Can you say, “Feast or famine?”

My life has become one big giant cliche of sayings.

Third off: After speaking with a doctor, he says, “Did you know if you had some kind of infection that you didn’t know about (given I had a high leukocyte count), that it can affect your heart?” Um, yeppers, I’m a nurse. Hello? I knew this . . . I just chose to put it somewhere in the back of my head. And so comes to next saying: Nurses and doctors make the worst patients. To that, I digress! I’m a freaking amazing patient. The best patient ever. I’m so stupendously amazing that I voluntarily stay out of the ER and doctor’s offices–even after passing out and having some phantom arrhythmia.

I’m living the cliches. I love my life. Because there are few Nurses and doctors who make the worst patients, especially during a time when it rains it pours, and still survive during the feast or famine, because–after all–if wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

On a side note: Always read the warnings on your antibiotics! Mine have basically given me permission to have visual and audio hallucinations (as if I needed antibiotics for that little talent), but it also gives me permission to essentially go postal and be able to ride the Antibiotic Defense all the way to trial. Just saying, if the Twinkie defense stands up, so does the Antibiotic one.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author on Day #2 of Cootie Killers.

medicated

 

Question: If I already have voices in my head, does the medication give my voices the ability to hear voices in their head?

Finding a Muse: Contest

Most of my characters are very clear to me before I ever start to write them. I take a little bit of something from every where and every one I know and concoct a new person. Its a bit of a mad scientist, Frankenstein process but works very well for me. Sometimes, after already having written my character out, I may see someone on television, the news, or someone I already know and think, “Hey, that’s my character!” It’s always nice to put a real face on a fictional character–at least for me.

In a previous post about Guns & Lightsabers, I gave an excerpt of a conversation between Huck and Maggie. To this day, I have all of my ducks in a row for each character in the book Blackbirds; there is a bio of their physical appearance, and I can see them plain as day. All except for Huck. I’ve been writing him but avoiding anything physical because he isn’t in my head yet. This character is very important me, as are most of my lead male characters, because I tend to enjoy writing in the point of view of men. Maybe its just me, but I find it fascinating to write men more than women.

Huck’s Bio:
Mid to late 30’s, tall and rugged, has piercing eyes that can be spotted a mile away. Witnessed something in his youth that set him off on a road of anger and rage, until he met Jenny. That romance and marriage was short lived when Jenny passed away suddenly. Huck was then infuriated at life, family, God, and anything else that crossed his path. He’s filled with sarcasm, cynicism, and believes he still sees and can talk to his dead wife…he thinks he’s gone crazy. Then a young woman (16 yrs old), just about as broken as him and matching his wit, sarcasm, and stubborness enters his life. She has nothing to give and he has nothing to offer, but they find a way, and his rugged exterior is peeled away a little at a time, until he goes into an all out rage when he discovers her secret. Huck is the epitome of country strong, stubborn, and at times a real ass…but he has a heart, especially for Maggie.

That is my character without a face. A complex man, as most characters are–as most people are. But I was watching a program on television the other night and saw this face, and my world lit up. I had my daughter and shouted to her, “That’s him. That’s him. That’s my character, Huck.” She was very happy, because she said one day she will sing for him and he’ll turn around. So here he is, my new muse for Charles “Huck” Roon. Drum roll please…

BlakeShelton_3

The first five people to respond and tell me who this is will receive a free copy of my last book, “Be Still,” via Nook or Kindle download.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author with a Muse

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