On Editing, as Torturous as it May Be




Editing is indeed terrible. Hang in there!

(I am writing about editing, which is tedious in the extreme, so in between telling you about editing, I will put in pictures of my Great Pyrenees puppy Rupert to make you feel better about editing.)

Editing is one of the most boring parts of finishing up a novel.

That is also the part of my novel I’m at right now, editing so that I can send it in for publication. It is tiring work, I’ll admit, but very necessary. I have to stress that a writer should NEVER send in a first draft for submission. Editors can tell. It’s not hard to tell, because not editing something is like sending a leaky ship out to sea. I generally do at least two editing runs before I submit my draft for publication, with the expectation that the editors at the publisher will do even more.


I am biting this bone and pretending it is editing.I generally do at least two editing runs before I will even contemplate sending it in.

First thing to look for is obviously spelling and grammar. Don’t rely on a program to fix this for you, because more often than not, there will be obvious mistakes that it missed. Also make sure that your tenses all match up – I tend to get very excited while I’m writing and accidentally switch into present tense. I blame university essay writing. Another thing to watch out for is dangling modifiers, which is when the subject of a clause is made ambiguous. Sometimes this is done for some effect, but generally it is a mistake to watch out for.

The main purpose of editing, however, is to take out unnecessary words and tighten up the writing so that it’s more brief and concise. Look at the beginning of your sentences for words like and, then, but, so, and also. If there is a way to take these out, do so.


If only editing could be buried in this snowbank.

Try and take out words that don’t add anything to the sentence. Take the sentence: “He felt a warm touch at his side.” Usually, you don’t need the word “felt” in any sentence. While you’re writing, it’s easier to just write a sentence with “felt” in it, but in editing, it must come out. Tighten this to something like this: “Something warm touched his side.” Another example: “She felt a branch clawing at her shoulder” can be changed to: “A branch clawed at her shoulder.”


Pretend this mountain is editing, and you are on top of it.

Another way to tighten up prose is to look at verbs with an adverb and find another verb which is stronger so that you can take out the adverb. Example: “Run quickly” versus “dash,” “sprint,” and “rush.”

Sometimes sentences are arranged poorly, and while the meaning is clear, it is awkward to read. If you find any instances of these, rearrange the words to try and make the sentence flow better. Sometimes sentences can be broken into two sentences to make them less confusing.

That is just some of the advice I can give to writers who have to edit something. Editing is certainly a process, so good luck to anyone else who is at this particular stage of one of their projects.

Beta Readers


As I recently mentioned, I have one of my novels currently out with beta readers.

What are beta readers?

They’re only one of the most useful tools that you can have as a writer. Beta readers are people you send your finished draft to look over – not for editing or grammar errors, but for things like plot holes, pacing, setting, etc. A beta reader makes sure that your story makes sense, and that you haven’t made any huge blunders that readers or editors will mercilessly point out later. Beta readers can clarify any points that are confusing, if you’ve left something out, or put in something that is impossible because of the rules of your universe. They can also tell you if you’re going too fast and losing readers along the way or going too slow and the pace is dragging and becoming boring.

Who make good beta readers?

Other writers. One of my best beta readers is my good friend J.K. Pendragon, who not only gives good advice on which parts of my story need fixing, but can tell me different ways that I might be able to fix it. J.K. also knows that the editors of any publishing house will put my draft through the wringer, so when offering critique, knows not to hold back out of some form of sympathy. Writers need to develop a tough skin fast and be able to take critique from their beta readers.

People who do not make good beta readers:

Your relatives. They will praise everything you do just because it is by you. Feel free to give them a copy of your book after it is published, because by that point, the praise will be warranted. Also, if you are sending it to a friend, pick that person carefully, because that person might also hold back criticism simply because it is you who wrote it.

Where are you supposed to even find beta readers?


Other writers are fairly easy to come by, usually. The internet makes this process somewhat simpler. All over the internet, especially on platforms like Tumblr and WordPress, there are writing blogs and groups that you can follow or join. One of the best places to find a beta reader is actually – and you may be surprised – in a fandom. Getting involved in a fan community turns up lots of writers and readers who would gladly beta for you.


All in all, a beta reader is someone who is fair, and will tell you not only where you need to fix your story, but also where your story is really working. A beta reader will make your story that much better, so make sure you find good ones!



I’ve been talking about my cyberpunk story for a while now. To be honest, this one was started for NaNoWriMo 2013 and has been mostly finished for the better part of a year. The needed revisions weren’t too bad as far as revisions go – I’ve seen people scrap half of an already written novel, so adding in a few scenes here and there wasn’t a big deal.


So, yes, it’s finally here. I’ve finished the revisions and it’s currently being read by two beta readers and edited by me. Very soon I will be submitting it for publication with Less Than Three Press. I’m very proud of it, and now that it’s finally almost finished, I think I can let everyone know! It’s currently about 58K words, but it will probably lose about 1-2000 words in editing.

A few of you might be wondering – what exactly is cyberpunk?

Cyberpunk is a genre meant to take place in a high-tech world with low-life living. With the advance of our current technology, many writers suddenly saw all types of different places technology could go in the future.

ghost-in-the-shellA cyberpunk setting is one that can take place mostly in cyberspace, and is generally a dystopian setting. A really good example of cyberpunk is the Matrix trilogy. With cyberpunk, the sky’s the limit when it comes to setting – or rather, not the actual sky. The power of the human mind is phenomenal, and cyberpunk often explores this idea.

My main character for this one is a hacker who is being hunted down by an unknown government for reasons not quite made clear. It was a fun one to write, and I hope I see more cyberpunk novels coming out in LGBT publishing.

Blade_Runner_posterA few other cyberpunk examples:

The Matrix (already mentioned)

Inception (movie)

Blade Runner (movie)

Ghost in the Shell (anime)

Psycho-pass (anime)

Neuromancer by William Gibson (novel)

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (novel)

If you’re a science fiction fan like I am, and you haven’t yet gotten into cyberpunk, I would really recommend it as a genre, especially if you also like dystopian novels.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Hey all! Today is probably one of the best days for romance authors everywhere, at least on a fictional level. I can’t speak for anyone else, but Valentine’s Day is easy to make perfect when you’re writing about someone fictional!

valentines-chocolateI hope everyone’s having a good Valentine’s Day regardless. I know a lot of couples today who tried and failed not to be ridiculously romantic today.

If you’re a single person, I have a pick-me-up in the form of some awesome sales on romance novels today! Recommended to read with a side-helping of vodka.

holiday packageI’m the Featured Author for February, so all my titles are 20% off! Just go HERE to get instructions on how to save some dough at Less Than Three Press. I’m going to be the Featured Author till the end of the month, so go check that out! And if you’re wondering who the Featured Author for March is, there’s still a bit of time to nominate someone, and then it will be time to take a vote on who it will be! Go HERE to nominate the Featured Author for March!

Last but not least, it is Valentine’s Day, so there’s a sale on everything at Less Than Three Press for 20% off until tomorrow. And guess what? It’s stackable, so you can get 40% off my books until the 15th!

To be honest, that’s why I love Valentine’s Day the most, because of all the sales on romance books. Also, all the chocolate goes on sale afterwards, so you can have cheap and delicious chocolate and a cheap and delicious romance novel to go with it!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and Happy Reading!

Geek Out Blog Tour finished!


Hello everyone! As promised, the whole Geek Out Blog Tour is here with all the links to every post. Check them all out, some of our blog tour stops still have giveaways going on! Not all of these are blog tour stops, actually, some are just blog posts by the authors about their books, but I thought I’d include them as part of the post so that everyone can find out more about this awesome collection.


Alex Powell

Geek Out Blog Tour

Why Unicorns

Love Rampage Release Date

Love Rampage Blog Tour

Cecil Wilde

They is Awkward, but Important

Available for Preorder – Defying Convention

Alden Lila Reedy

Geek Out Collection – Alden Lila Reedy’s Manifest

J.K. Pendragon

Guest Post and Giveaway

Release Day: Double Take aka “Oops, I’m Dating Twins”

Kinks and Content Warnings

Caitlin Ricci

Writing Trans Characters

Guest Post and Giveaway

Francis Gideon

Geek Out Collection Tour – Sext-based Adventures

Guest Post and Giveaway

Alessandra Ebulu

Guestpost – Of Anime and the Baeci

Alison Evans

Knowing the Words

The Geek Out Collection is now available with Less Than Three Press!