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Discussion Starter #41
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Get ready to ring in the New Year 2017. Celebrate safely; consider your resolutions, your yearlong plans. Here's to a happy and prosperous year!

Denise Barker
 

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Discussion Starter #43
The Texas weather has been interesting. After three or four nights of twenty-degree temps, we are now looking forward to three or four days of seventy-degree temps. Love it! About three days of winter weather is all I need. Take care, everyone. Hope you all have time to read and to create.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #44
Six inspirational ideas to guide you throughout 2017:

1. The real definition of "failure" is "not being true to yourself and your dreams."

2. The real definition of "wealth" is "finding where you belong."

3. The real definition of "fear" is "the energy to do your best in a new situation."

4. Stop saying you don't have enough time. Prioritize your time to meet your biggest goal(s).

5. Stop saying you don't have enough money. Get creative and work smarter. Ask what skills you have or what tools are at your home or in your car that could help you with this.

6. Anytime you hit the end of the road, you're lacking an idea, not money, not time, not mentorship. Think outside the box.

Amen!

I don't have the sources for these gems. My apologies to the creative minds who gave us this wisdom, but we can learn and apply them regardless.

Go forth and embrace failure and find your wealth.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #45
I'm writing my first-ever fiction series. But I have to believe, after setting up the characters and their "world" for Book One, the next books in the series should be easier, faster, right? I'll report on my experience regarding that and other topics as I go along. However, doesn't this reflection about Book One blazing an easier path for Books Two, Three, etc., also confirm the beauty of plotting ahead of time instead of using the final edit to fix any plotting issues?

Spoken like a reformed seat-of-the-pants author, correct? Although I was really a hybrid plotter to begin with. Now I'm heavier into the preplotting.

Have a great week, everyone.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #46
Good morning, all! Here it is just one more day away from February 2017. And I had plans to publish Book 1 of my new fiction series in August 2016. Or at least before Christmas last year. Granted, the first book of any series takes the most planning and considering, but my focus needs to go there foremost when I have spare time, right? Right. So that's my new mantra for now through February. What were your 2017 resolutions, dreams, wishes? Hope they are still going strong.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #47
All my copyediting projects are first come, first served, based on the date and time of the prepayment in full via PayPal.

Hope everybody has a great week, full of productivity.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #48
I do two complete read-throughs for each and every one of my projects. The first read-through (1RT) is truly looking at every jot and tittle, every semicolon/colon and every space, every letter making up every word of the book. I do catch an incredible amount of typos and grammar snafus this way, and the going is slow. Depending on the project, I could be averaging two pages an hour, but my normal pace is ten.

On the second read-through, I see more big-picture things (plot developments and the like), but any things I missed in the 1RT are more likely to be in the initial quarter of the book, where the "world" and its characters are being set up. So much is going on in that introduction portion that it's overwhelming at first. However, with my second read-through (2RT), I now know how it all works out. Plus I have a lot of the distracting typos and grammar errors out of the way so the pure story line is left.

This 1RT clearing-of-the-path allows me to focus on multiple things in the 2RT, like continuity (seeing where one character stood up two paragraphs earlier and is standing up again without benefit of sitting down in between. Oops!). I see where I was confused by two characters whose names are too much alike, and so I suggest to the author to change either Mike or Mack to Steve or Paul so that the reader is not confused like I was the first time around. I may suggest a bit of foreshadowing to make a later event not so incongruous.

Or I could just do some simple additions like transitions to smooth out otherwise jerky and flat sentences. An example would be: I got up. I looked around. I heard a dog bark. Those three sentences could become: A barking dog had me getting up, looking around.

Also I focus on body language of the characters (not only per each individual but all of them collectively). We all use our favorites, and sometimes they are overdone (too much smiling and sighing going on or the main guy always runs his hands through his hair). The best thing we authors can do is to make up a list of all sorts of mannerisms to add as action tags instead of the rote ones we too often reach for. Mix 'em up for variety. Now I happen to be sensitive to repetitions, so once is "unique" to me. Twice is a repeat. Third is a pattern. Once I see that pattern, I find myself counting the number of times it appears in a story. That's bad. You don't want your readership stepping out of your story like that to monitor your writing style. Granted, your readership probably isn't wired like me to see these so readily. However, if you continue with these repeats throughout the manuscript, I bet your readers will see it at some point.

Anyway this is just a glance at what is going on in this copy editor's head while she is engrossed in a project. I do love what I do.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #50
It's a holiday Monday for us in the States. For me, every day feels like Saturday, or a day off, because I'm doing what I love. What a wonderful way to live.

So here's hoping you all are having a great day today and beyond.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
[email protected]

PS: In case you were wondering about my availability, as of the date and time of this writing, I'm booked through 03.14.2017 with four projects currently in my queue and more penciled in for receipt later this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I've had a wonderfully busy month. I'm currently booked through 03.25.2017. I may have to extend my standing one-month turnaround time to become six weeks at the outside (or even two months). It's a nice problem for me to have.

But no worries. I do pad my individual deadlines given to each author who submits a job, taken on a first come, first served basis, per the date and time of the prepaid PayPal payment received in full by me. So, while I may give one author a specific deadline of twenty days later (based on what's already in my queue), I'm trying my hardest to turn in each and every project at least one day or two early (never compromising on the quality of my work).

Thanks for everything, y'all!

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Another week has welcomed us all. I've been swamped with work (always a good thing!), yet have done my taxes (ouchie!), spring-cleaned my kitchen (makes me smile), and enjoyed our warm weather here in Texas with my windows open as I sit in my office (love the sounds of the birds and other animal life and the clean smells of nature).

So take some time to enjoy yourself daily in common pleasures. Every day should be more and more a snapshot of your perfect life. That's my goal.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
[email protected]

 

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Discussion Starter #53
Happy Monday to us all. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and has an equally good week ahead of them. Me? I need to get back to work to timely meet the six deadlines I have on the respective projects currently in my queue.

I love what I do!

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #54
Happy First Day of Spring 2017! I mailed off my 2016 IRS forms this morning (patting myself on the back). One less thing on my To Do list. Now I just have fun copyediting projects to do, while cooking a few favorites of mine and even working in my yard some, enjoining our wonderful Texas weather.

It's all good.

Hope y'all have a great week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #55
We had some supposedly golf-ball-size hail in my neck of the DFW woods, but, I have to tell you, it sounded more like ice basketballs dropping on my roof. Thankfully we had no tornadoes here.

Have a good week, all. Stay safe.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #56
Our April showers started early this year, with a hailstorm that sounded like iced basketballs were bouncing off my roof. Even with some thunderstorms passing through yesterday, we're due nothing but sunshine today in my neck of Texas. I'm looking forward to it.

Hope everybody has a good week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
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Discussion Starter #57
As of today, April 10, 2017, at 4:45 a.m. CST (while I write this), I am currently booked through May 20, 2017. I've also noted this in my opening post here and will update every so often. As I've shared in other posts, I do pad every deadline date I pass on to each author I work with. Some books require more time. Others less. Even from the same author. So I need those extra days for some projects but not all of them. That enables me the random day off (or half day), plus may provide me with a bonus week that allows for yet another project to be moved up and turned in early.

Which is my goal. Doing a great job and returning all of them early.

Have a wonderful Monday, y'all.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Tomorrow, April 18, 2017, is the extended tax deadline this year here in the States for filing our income tax returns. I did mine early this year (even though I owed more money and wasn't due a refund). It's always a big relief to take care of this as soon as possible and get it off my To Do list. Plus I never want to be at my local post office on the tax deadline day of any year. Just like I don't want to be out grocery shopping on Black Friday anywhere. My two preferences to live by.

Have a good week, everyone.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
 

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Discussion Starter #59
As Indie authors, we all have our own production process. Whether you use a writing group, beta readers, CPs, a book doctor, editors of various ilk (developmental, copy), cover artists/illustrators, and/or publicists/marketers, don't let any one voice override your own gut feeling. No individual can speak for "the readers." And we creative types can be very hurt when our baby is criticized. Don't allow that to trip you up. Just like some reviews, you need to step back, give it a few days, and see it in a fresh light. Especially certain one-time events. So remember, as the creator of your work, it is your name that appears on the cover. You should feel proud of every story of yours before you hit Publish. For you have accomplished a feat that most only wish and think and talk about.

Denise Barker
US Copy Editor
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