Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now 4

Thanks to modern technology, the editing process is also much easier.  When I sent Just Be to my editor, it was as an e-mail attachment and she used the tracking changes feature so I could see the changes and either accept or reject the changes as appropriate.  When I accept the changes, it magically appears.  But back in the olden days, editing meant retyping everything all over.  At least, in my mind that’s what it meant.

So I really mean it when I say writing is the easiest part especially in this day and age.  The hard part comes after you’ve finished.  Now you have to edit and revise the book.  Cut down on extended scenes that take away from the plot.  Beef up certain scenes.  When I finished Just Be it was 401 double spaced pages.  After edits and revisions, it was chopped down to 336 pages.  Some scenes and passages were easier to get rid of than others.

I add an additional step since I use an illustrator for the book cover, but she’s drawing as I write.  With Freshman Focus, the book was already written when she started drawing, but with Just Be as I wrote, I would send her chapters to read so she could be working in tandem with me.  Part of that is because Just Be will have interior illustrations.

When I finished writing Freshman Focus, I wanted interior illustrations with it as well but time and my budget wouldn’t allow it to happen, but that’s not the case with Just Be.  As a kid, part of the thrill of reading a book was the pictures inside.  And as we got older, pictures fell by the wayside in our books for whatever reason.  I think the illustrations enhance the author’s words and it allows my illustrator to showcase more of her talent.

So in February 2007, I had a contest at my alma mater where students could draw or write essays or poems based on several topics.  The winners would be the face of the main characters of Carter G. Woodson High School and their friends.  Not many entered the contest so going forward I’ll recruit cousins to be additional characters in the series.

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