Murder She Wrote


For all of the plusses of a computer over the outdated typewriters—and we all know there are many—some of the drawbacks can be annoying. Writers, especially, must be vigilant in monitoring all of these “helps.”

For instance, don’t depend on the auto-correct function.

I entered the word yarn incorrectly, spelling it as yard. It was the wrong word, but since it was spelled correctly, the computer left it as I had typed it in. I found it later as I was rereading, but still…

Not long after that, I entered the word heart several times. Each time, I noticed the “t” disappear right before my eyes, leaving the word hear. I am not sure why this happened, but again, the word was spelled correctly, but definitely not the word I intended to use.

One last example: I wrote the name Jaxon. I am sure you’re not surprised to hear that it was auto-corrected to Jackson. No matter what I did, I could not get my computer to accept the altered spelling. 

I am sure there are ways around these difficulties—and many others—it just takes persistence in searching out the culprit and overriding the function. 

If you have run into other problems, or have the answer to the few I have described, please share your information.

Until then, type carefully. Reread often. Or, you want to get that old Remington out of the closet and create your manuscript the old-fashioned way!


2019 Is Your Year



Editing is the polishing before your book is published. It is at this point that you place your manuscript in the hands of your editor.

So, what are you looking to get for your dollars spent?

Well, it depends on how much you have done on your own prior to this point. Some writers will need proofreading for typos and grammar, others will want a more in-depth analysis of their story to make sure that it rings “true” with the time period in which it takes place. The editor will make sure that clothing, automobiles, literature, expressions of speech, political references, inventions, references to movies, and so on accurately reflect the calendar year (or decade) as precisely and truthfully as possible.

In one book, I researched “rabbit ears” for television reception. In another, the year of the first Cadillac Coupe de Ville was the issue, and so on.

Some editors will also see that your book is correctly formatted. Others will leave that entirely up to the publisher.

Each kind of editing has a fee attached to it. You can contract the editor to do as much—or as little—editing of your manuscript as you deem helpful.

It is at this point, while I am waiting to get my story back from the editor, that I spend time on my cover image and copy. I usually select three covers I like and then run a Facebook contest to chose the winner. This process stirs up some publicity about my upcoming book, which is a bonus.

At whatever point in the writing process you are now working— prewriting, drafting, revising, or editing—I encourage you to keep on keeping on. 

2019 will be your year, if you don’t let anything distract you and you keep moving ahead toward your goal.