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In the post before last, the (mysterious to some of you) tag <$p> appeared. I go back a long way with various computer codes, so anything within the triangular brackets < > is 'normal' to me. But, in answer to those of you who were puzzled and wrote asking for an explanation, here's the lowdown on tags. What is a tag? A tag is a string of characters which starts with < and ends...

A week has flown by and I've been busy 'editing' the Admiral's memoir. Having tackled the structure - and awaiting instruction - I'm now reading for real, fixing punctuation and typos as I pass, and annotating the text with my queries. To provide my Admiral with a taste of how the finished book might appear, I compiled the material that I've worked on so far. There are so many formats to choose from: Kindle I chose the...

I can't remember the last time I edited a book written by someone else. Mostly, I write or mentor writers so that they can edit their own masterpieces. However, I have a friend - let's call him the Admiral - and, the other day, he twisted my arm and persuaded me to help him to complete his memoir; it's the only thing left on his bucket list. I received an electronic copy of the manuscript, saved in Pages, and...

I love learning. I'm addicted to courses and I've just recently signed up for a 'Revise with Confidence' course with Joan Dempsey. I'm enjoying every minute. In my Red Pen Editing cycle, there's a place for drilling down to word level - it's in step 9. But with Joan's method - she recommends a process called translation - and she challenges me to go deeper still. Marvellous! The task is to select one...

January is almost over and I'm taking stock of 2015 already. If  you're anything like me, you made several New Year resolutions:   To get that novel finished To self-publish said novel Crack the code for social media exposure To market your novel to the world To retire, wealthy, to a desert island! I wonder which of these is your highest priority. Highest priority: Building an audience Yes, for me, it's building an audience. Then,...

I adopt a belt and braces approach to everything. It's rare for us to run out of the essentials: coffee, loo rolls or alcohol. I overstock. I subscribe to an online Backup service so I can rest easy knowing I can access my files from any machine, anywhere in the world. I set up Auto-save ...

I have been 'en vacance' since Saturday 5 December, relying on a MacPro laptop and intermittent Internet access from my holiday apartment for exploring Scrivener and posting to my blog, and hopefully, no one noticed. But, yesterday, the laptop died and all my attempts to breathe life into it have failed. It will need looking at by someone in an Apple Store in the UK. So, apologies! I won't be able to post...

This week I've been working on an Editing tutorial for my RedPenners. I'm developing a one-hour presentation to deliver as a webinar, all about 'point of view'. Where to start? Always, always, with 'research'. I Google 'point of view' and there are hundreds of articles to read. I am away from home with limited, slow and unreliable Internet access. I'll need to read these articles offline. I set up the necessary folders in Scrivener. I have...

Scrivener is not just ideal for writing and editing novels! I'm currently developing material for my third 'Proof of the Pudding' workshop.  As part of the one-on-one mentoring I offer, an author presents a series of drafts. For each revised draft, I set three editing tasks according to what's relevant - what needs fixing the most. The author who volunteered a story for the POP3 workshop has presented three drafts already. And I've...

There were several occasions during the first 40K of NANO when I invited my main character to 'walk this way'. Instead of populating the outline I had so carefully prepared ahead of time, she was determined to tread her own path. Was I relieved when the name of Ballycombe-by-the-Sea at last crossed her lips? Keeping track of the revised storyline might have been a nightmare in Word - been there before, got the...