Buffing and Polishing and Prepping for Launch

One of the first steps in my editing process is to upload my entire manuscript to AutoCrit, an automated online editing tool which is light-years beyond all the others I’ve investigated. Not only does it analyze my writing, it’s configurable to help me with my specific bugaboos. Over time it’s helped me reduce those.

Except that’s wrong. D’oh.

As Anne “The Writer’s Process” Janzer posted recently, work from the outside in. Read that at her blog (scroll down to The Cycles of Self-Revision for this specific point.) First, read the book as a book and see if it works, if at a high level, all the parts come together. Then tidy up the specifics.

I’m parking the book for a week and then I’ll read it like a book. Yeah, it should be a month, to let myself forget all the brilliant turns of phrase and unbelievable bits, but this book is nearly a thousand days old and I’m being impatient. It’s also pretty good just as it is, so I’m pushing.

Watch for it in early summer. Or sooner . . .


Time for My Time Travel Fantasy

Knowing how closely our emotional and physical health are tied it is no surprise to me that I came down with a vicious cold the week I pushed to finish Rafe Keyn, nor that it continues as I keep working.

A half-mile south of the official end of the Wild Rivers Trail in northern Wisconsin there is a railroad bridge. The tracks end 100 feet north of the bridge.
My diminished mental capacity makes creativity difficult, but I can still read the printed manuscript and find obvious typos and make other notes as they occur to me.

Eating well, getting my rest and plenty of fluids. I wish those fluids included rye whiskey and a local craft brew, but our water is good and still my favorite drink.

I’m on track to release it early summer.


Author Spotlight at AutoCrit

I’ve been a faithful user of AutoCrit ever since I first heard of it. In my opinion, the best automated editing and feedback tool an author can have.

Jocelyn from AutoCrit interviewed me about my long relationship with them and my writing process. Even if you’re not an author, there’s plenty there about Phil Brennan’s latest shenanigans.


I Trust Myself

want-of-toneJust as my editor does more than make sure my sentences and paragraphs make sense, my proofreader does more than ensure spelling and punctuation. Both are writers themselves. Equally important, both are avid readers.

The first proofreading pass of That She Is Made of Truth garnered some confused commentary from my proofreader, James. Plot points unclear, connections muddled — I could tell he wondered, a bit, what I was doing.

I trust his judgment.

Continue reading “I Trust Myself”


My Editor Makin’ My Book Better

You’ll want to sing that title to the tune of, um, something that fits. I don’t know what. I just know it’s better if you sing it.

polish-it-upMy editor, Tom Bentley, doesn’t just nudge my words into place. Line editing is important. His polishes my words from workmanlike to well done.

He also asks me hard questions.

Continue reading “My Editor Makin’ My Book Better”


Off to the Editor (After the Last Delay)

rollin' rollin' rollin'Yes, the book was “done” last Friday.

And yes, I’ve said it before: no art is ever finished, but at some point you have to be done.

Unless you’ve built a car with no brakes or a chair without legs.

My omission was less obvious, but still critical. I always run my manuscripts through a marvelous tool called AutoCrit before throwing them over the transom to Tom’s office.

Continue reading “Off to the Editor (After the Last Delay)”