I think you're going to like visiting Rosey Corner again. At least I hope so. The Merritt sisters have a lot going on in their lives. While I've struggled with untangling some knotty writing in a paragraph here and there, I have enjoyed going back to Rosey Corner myself to live the story with my characters again as I'm editing. I got to hear some more of Aunt Hattie's prayers and homespun wisdom. I got to witness Graham doing some more matchmaking. I got to walk in the woods with Fern and that is always interesting! I teared up when the boys were welcomed home from the war by their loved ones. I went with Lorena to find out the "rest of her story." And more. Lots more. The book is already available for pre-sale on Amazon.
But while I was enjoying the story again, I was also reading the editor's comments on how to make my writing better. The surprising thing was I never thought the editor was off-base with her suggestions on how to make the story read better. Sometimes a writer can struggle with edits, and not see the need for the suggested changes. But this time when my editor noted a little muddy writing, I could see that I hadn't been clear enough. When she said I'd used the same words too often or too close together in a paragraph, she was right. Sometimes "echo" words are okay. Sometimes they're not. (Note my "I got to" echoes in the paragraph above.) Perhaps I was okay with her comments because she didn't ask for a lot of changes.There was one place where I had to shift the scene a bit, but the rest were fairly easy changes. Of course, there was that one knotty paragraph that I spent hours on and I'm still not sure I've got it right. I'll have to go back and read it again before I hit the send button to turn it in to the editor.
These were the first copy edits where I could make as many changes as I thought were needed. So whenever my reader's eye stumbled over a phrase or sentence, I worked it over to try to make the reading smoother. The intent of careful editing is to make the words disappear so the story can play like a movie in the reader's mind. A clunky sentence or a bad transition between scenes can jerk a reader away from the "movie" and make her remember she's reading words. That's not good! I want to keep the magic of the story alive in the reader's imagination. I'll get another chance to edit, but then the book will be almost ready to go and any editing changes will need to be minor.
So now how would you like a sneak peek at a new Rosey Corner character? Clay Weber. I'm hoping you said yes, because here's a bit of a scene from Clay's point of view as he thinks about finding a way to capture the affections of the girl he loves even though she shows no sign of wanting his love.
He [Clay] might not be the handsomest guy in the room. But he knew how to stick to something and get it done if it was worth doing.
Working a farm taught a man that. Every year that a man plowed a field, more rocks rose up out of the dirt to be hauled away. Weeds kept sprouting no matter how many calluses a man got plying his hoe. Horses went lame. Machinery broke down. Cows went dry and hawks swooped out of the sky to steal the chickens. The ground didn’t give up its yield without a man watering it with plenty of sweat. But just because something was hard didn’t mean it wasn’t worth doing.
So there you have a sneak peek at the cover and Clay. Now I'll push Love Comes Home back in line to wait its turn since I do have the re-release of my third Hollyhill book, Summer of Joy, coming out in March. I'll reveal that cover on Jocie's blog, Hollyhill Book of the Strange later this week. I'm gearing up to celebrate the last story in the Heart of Hollyhill series. In fact, there's a Goodreads giveaway opening up on it Tuesday, Feb. 4. Here's the Goodreads' giveaway link. And I'll be doing my own giveaway soon too. Stay tuned for that.
Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear what you think about the cover of Love Comes Home.