Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Editing Revival


Found on Facebook

On a lighter note . . .

Not sure what game Kylo was playing - seems more cat-like to me



Not two weeks into her Freshman year at Seminole High, Cassidy had a few friends over. (Please ignore the lack of social distancing.) I imagine she knew more than a few of them from the flight program at her STEM middle school, but, really, I begin to suspect she has an ulterior motive beyond her interest in being a pilot . . .

~ * ~


EDITING REVIVAL
 or
 Best Foot Forward lives again

After more than a year's absence from Editing (slowed to crawl by my efforts to compile my blog posts into book form, followed by my broken foot and marathon mask-making), I have decided to revive my Fiction Editing service, Best Foot Forward. A quick check of the Internet seems to confirm my services (even with a slight price increase) are still one of the best bargains around, and editing a manuscript for a frequent client reminded me how much I enjoy it.

I have always kept a low profile on Best Foot Forward—no website, contact by email only—as my writing had to come first. Today, however, for the first time, I am posting the Services offered and Price Information to my blog. 

Please note:  I do not provide separate Copy Editing or Proofreading services. But I make an effort to  include these services when acting as your  Developmental or Content editor. 


INTRODUCTION TO BEST FOOT FORWARD


Definitions 

Content Editing.  Have you created characters who will grab your readers’ attention? Are your hero and heroine likable, even though they may have faults? Will your readers want to root for them, care what happens to them? Does your plot work, or is it too shallow for a 100,000-word book? Have you used descriptive language and colorful words in both Dialogue and Narration? Have you made the setting clear, or are your characters acting against a blank canvas? Have you run off at the mouth, using so many words your story and characters are obscured? Have you used too few words, merely giving readers a hint of what you’re thinking instead of good solid meat to chew on?

These problems, and many more, are what a content editor must determine. In the New York print market, these duties are totally separate from the Copy Editor, usually the low-paid new kid on the block who checks over the Nuts & Bolts of your manuscript.

Developmental Editing.
  Similar to Content Editing but even more detailed. More in-depth analysis, more definitive suggestions for improvement. A longer, more detailed critique.

Copy Editing
(or Proofreading).  The Nuts & Bolts of your manuscript—spelling, punctuation, grammar, continuity, fact-checking, etc.



BEST FOOT FORWARD - SERVICES

Content Editing.  A service that works well for most authors. Includes Editing Comments (via Track Changes), Copy Editing, and a separate Critique.   

Developmental Editing. Designed for unpublished authors who want to make a serious effort to improve their skills and for indie authors who realize they need some serious editing/copy editing help. These services include Editing Comments (via Track Changes), Copy Edits, and a separate Comprehensive Critique. The Critique covers (as necessary): Opening Paragraphs; Characterization - Hero, Heroine, Secondary; Conflict; Narration; Dialogue; Setting; Plot; Style - including Show vs. Tell, Less is More, Personalize/Identify, Point of View; Presentation - format, grammar, spelling, punctuation; Overall Impression




BEST FOOT FORWARD - MISSION STATEMENT

I will use my many years of experience as an editor and author to help you put your best foot forward. To give you the fairest critiques, editing, and craft suggestions I possibly can. And always with the intention of being helpful. (I do not criticize for the sake of criticism.) And, most importantly, to give you the advice and confidence needed to be all you can be.
  
Grace's Professional Bio:

I have more than thirty years' experience as an editor and am the author (as Blair Bancroft) of more than forty novels  in a wide variety of genres. My books have won numerous awards, and I have judged somewhere around 400 writing contests over the last twenty years, in addition to my work with Best Foot Forward. (My favorite thank-you note was the one that said my score was the lowest of the three judges, but the author learned the most from my comments!)



BEST FOOT FORWARD - PRICING

Content Editing:                  .01 per word        (1¢ per word)

Developmental Editing:      .0125 per word    (1.25¢ per word)

Volume Discount:                10% discount (80,000 words & up)


Repeat Clients:                    10% discount

Grace Note:  I am always happy to provide a fixed estimate upon request. 


BEST FOOT FORWARD - CONTACT

Grace at:  editsbyBFF@aol.com 

~ * ~
 
To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

Grace note:  The Vicar's Daughter is now available on Smashwords affiliates, such as B&N, Apple, & Kobo.

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my updated Facebook Author Page. Click here.
 



For Blair's website, click here.
 


 
Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft) 

 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Gallery & Mask Update

 MASK UPDATE

Good news this week - I was actually able to buy interfacing for the first time since March. (Not what I usually buy, but a reasonable substitute. The fusible interfacing shortage has been worse than the elastic shortage!) I have, therefore, updated the Masks for Sale blog with the latest mask designs & gimmicks, such as sliding "buttons" to improve mask fit, plus the optional interfacing. To take a look, click here.


GALLERY

A few photos to add a smile to what has to be the worst summer of our lives:

Grace note: you have to read the first one carefully - it's easy to miss a few gems the first time around. 


 
The divers were at it again. (Venice, FL)



  
Lots of sharks teeth, but no biggies

 
And some shells


But reality intrudes. Amid great controversy, schools re-opened in Seminole County.

Off for her Freshman year at Seminole High (with flight simulators)
Riley ready for her Sophomore year at Lake Mary High (she chose Virtual classes)
(Grace note:  Evidently, Hailey has reverted to camera-shy.)


We also said goodbye to the Suwanee property last week. (Sold to Californians who were fleeing to "out back of beyond." As Trustee, I had to leave hibernation long enough to sign my name about 30 times at a Closing Office in Lake Mary.



 AND DON'T FORGET . . .

A Regency Gothic, set in Cornwall


~ * ~
To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

Grace note:  The Vicar's Daughter is now available on Smashwords affiliates, such as B&N, Apple, & Kobo.

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my updated Facebook Author Page. Click here.
 
For Blair's website, click here.
 
   
Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (aka Blair Bancroft)
 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Blair's New Regency Gothic

At long last, despite Covid 19 and taking time off
to make a whole slew of masks,
here is my latest Regency Gothic Romance.




Independent and capable Prudence Wedderburn, daughter of a vicar, is a woman before her time. She not only manages the parish duties usually performed by a vicar's wife, she has learned the art of healing, and during her father's final illness, she also assumes some of his religious duties—all actions welcomed by her village until her father's death abruptly ends her life as First Lady of Kenner's Cove, Kent.

Well aware she must curb her independence—even learn to practice subservience, a quality entirely unknown to her—Prudence accepts a position as governess to a five-year-old girl in Cornwall. Where, alas, rumors of her activities in Kent plunge her into difficulties with the church, she clashes with her pupil's father (an earl), finds herself hip-deep in smugglers and Cornish legends, is befriended by a 500-year-old cat, and discovers that someone—several someones?—want to kill her. Finding a happy ending in a deluge of disasters will be the vicar's daughter's greatest challenge.

~ * ~

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

Grace note:  The Vicar's Daughter will be available on Smashwords affiliates, such as B&N, Apple, & Kobo, shortly.

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my updated Facebook Author Page. Click here.
 
For Blair's website, click here.
 
   
Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (aka Blair Bancroft)
 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Editing Disaster


MASKS

Three new fabrics have been added to the Mask Array, plus a new "button" that makes the elastic loops adjustable (at long last). For photos, see below. For details on the other masks available, click here.





My latest Regency Gothic, coming soon (c. 8/6/20)

~ * ~

EDITING DISASTER

As everyone who reads my blog knows, I have been harping on self-editing since 2011. Needless to say, I consider myself an expert on the subject. But I recently I got my comeuppance, one of the most humbling and embarrassing experiences of my life. I have been considering a spin-off series from my Regency Warrior books, most particularly from characters in The Lady Takes a Risk and The Abominable Major. But after somewhere around thirty Regencies, I needed to re-visit these two books in order to get plot, characters, and timeline straight. So . . .

I downloaded both books to my Kindle and began to read. I chortled over Lady—it had been long enough since I wrote it that it was almost like reading someone else's book, and I'd forgotten it has a lot of humorous moments. And then I began The Abominable Major.  Almost instant shock. I frowned, started taking notes. By the time I got to the fourth scribbled page of missing words or other odd glitches, I was frantically thinking back, trying to puzzle out what happened.

My standard editing routine:  1) edit after each chapter; 2) edit again after each 5 chapters: 3) edit from the top; 4) repeat edit from the top; 5) if I've made a number of revisions in the second run-thru, I do a third edit from the top. After that it's 1) a code check in Word Perfect; 2) transfer to Microsoft Word; 3) codes on, a last edit from the top.

Even after all that, a few mistakes will still get through, but not many. Yet Major was riddled with errors - fourteen pages of notes, to be exact. So what happened? (I don't deny some of the errors were mine - I made the disastrous mistake of not re-reading Lady before I began Major, a direct sequel, which meant that the continuity errors were mine. Aargh!

With my pride sorely wounded, I went back to the manuscript I uploaded to Amazon . . . and couldn't find it. Oops. There was an earlier copy in Word Perfect and what I thought was an up-to-date backup on G drive, but nothing in "My Documents." That's when a vague memory came back. Ever since I moved to Longwood, there have been unexplained power glitches—middle of the day, perfect weather—a blink, a click, the computer shuts itself off. The microwave clock keeps going. The oven clock has to be reset. Every. Darn. Time. And, of course, the computer has to be rebooted—everything new on the page gone forever. I do give credit to Lenovo that my machine powers back up every time, no matter how rudely it was shut off, but . . . !

And, finally, I recalled that is what happened when I had the entire final version of The Abominable Major open. Beyond that, I have no idea where the fault lies. Did I resurrect from G drive a manuscript a couple of edits back? Did the power glitch itself rip away the latest edits? Or . . . I've tried to recall anything that might have distracted me from proper editing, and come up with zilch. So, for whatever the reason this manuscript went astray, I have uploaded a revised version of The Abominable Major, which will be on sale at 99¢ through the end of August. (Online vendors include Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple & Kobo.) I also offer my abject apologies for the far-less-than-perfect manuscript uploaded July 20, 2019.

MORALS OF THIS TALE.  
1.  Never write a sequel without a close read of the book that came before it! 
2.  If any kind of power glitch rears its ugly head—whether in Draft or Final Copy—do not take it for granted that your manuscript survived unscathed.
3.  Never get so complacent you don't do that last run-through you absolutely, positively do not want to do. 
4.  Never forget that just when you think you know it all, editing can turn around and stab you in the back.


~ * ~



Mask Feathers

Mask Hearts

Mask Pink Flowers

 
The new sliding "button" that makes the elastic adjustable

~ * ~
 
For Blair's website, click here.
 
For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.


 
For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.
 

 
Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (aka Blair Bancroft)