I made this video back in 2020 after having several people mention that when it came to editing they felt overwhelmed. Most pointed out that they had know idea where to start.
I thought that by putting my tips into a video format, that it would make it easier for people. I wanted to keep it short, and to the point. I’m someone who enjoys this process, but after years of tutoring and editing for others I’ve learned how quickly a person can stress themselves out. A lot of them will say things like, “I just wanted to write a story! Why do I have to do more work?”
I get it. I do. You feel like you’ve finally completed something and then BAM, you get hit with this realization that there’s a lot more work to do. It’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to be a little stressed out by that, especially if this is your first time completing a book.
I hope that this video will be helpful to those who get overwhelmed by this process. I spend a lot of time editing myself, and something that I have learned…and this is probably one of the most important tips, is that it is important to take breaks. Step away for an hour, go for a walk, call your folks, play a game…whatever it is, take a few moments to allow yourself to unwind. Your thoughts will flow better, and you’ll be able to edit more effectively while you’re in a good headspace.
It’s been a while since I’ve post a writing update vlog/blog. Today I spent the afternoon writing, after watching Netflix for an hour. I binged two different shows in January and am pretty bummed out that I’ve finished them. I’ll probably check out a few different shows on Netflix until I find something new.
I’ve been going back and forth between two different writing projects, the first is the sequel to my debut and the other a novel that I’ve been working on since last summer.
I wouldn’t recommend working on several projects at once. It can get kind of hectic…then again I find that multi-writing occasionally works for me. If I’m stuck on a scene in one book, I’m able to work on something else while I brainstorm. As long as I’m still writing I don’t get writing block, which prevents me from feeling stressed or burned out.
This was something a professor of mine recommended and it’s probably some of the best writing advice I’ve ever received.
Anyway, I’ve made good progress on my sequel so far. I’m currently on chapter six. As for my other project, I’ve been editing and rewriting a few scenes. That’s actually been going fairly well. I definitely want to set a completion deadline for both. Setting a deadline is a good habit. It keeps me on top of my work, while also managing my other jobs.
I ordered pizza for dinner, which I’m definitely looking forward to. I ended up moving my laptop onto my vanity since the mirror isn’t finished yet, and am going to try writing from here for a bit today while I wait for my laundry to finish. I figured I’d be less distracted sitting on a stool versus laying on bed, wrapped in my fluffy red Indigo blanket. I’ve also got some stuff in my sketchbook to finish colouring…so I think I’ll do that after I post this.
I’m pleased with how my writing has evolved since going through the editing process. It’s kind of weird writing after doing so many edits…and editing for others. I can’t stop thinking “Oh this words one of your crutch words. Change it!” or thinking about better ways to have my characters interact with their surroundings. I’m applying so many different things that I’ve learned from reading and writing and studying the craft all these years, which feels…really nice. It’s just nice to see my own growth. It’s not something I usually pay much attention to unless I decide to revisit my older work.
I’m hoping to post a writing vlog sometime this month. I’ve got a lot of books to read on top of work, so I’m praying I can get to that soon. In the meantime, I’d best get back to work. I want to start colouring before my pizza arrives!
Tonight I tuned in to Bookish Realm’s livestream, where she broke down and discussed where we’ve come as a community–by community I mean the reading community–over these past six months.
It wasn’t an easy conversation to have. Tears were shed…and I have seen many tears from these wonderful creators, writers and reviewers. Too many tears. 2020 should be nicknamed the Year of the Tear. Anyway, her final point in the live–one that I thought as she was saying it–was that “Google is free.”
To summarize, she was talking about how when people act like they don’t have any access to books by BIPOC authors. Which to the BIPOC creators and reviewers is an absolute joke because Google is the easiest place to start. To prove it, I decided to do a quick search, one that was recommended by her: romances featuring a black couple.
Well I googled and although there are a lot with interracial couples, I am annoyed at how few books being promoted are ones with two happy black people in love.
To clarify I’m mixed race. Black Mom. White Dad. I’m making this clear because despite my–well to myself–clearly mixed features I did have someone on Twitter assume I was white. Like damn, I know I need a tan but you don’t need to rub it in!
Anyway, I know what its like to see your family being poorly represented by the media. The reason why I’m annoyed with the lack of promotion of two black characters in love is because despite trying to do better…which I do believe they are, they’re still putting focus on this idea that in order for this black female character to achieve happiness she needs to marry a white man. Which is a whole other thing that I don’t even know how to unpack. I don’t even known if it’s my place to unpack that…I’m the product of an interracial relationship and I’ve been in interracial relationships. It doesn’t mean I’m an expert. This type of relationship is the norm for me. However, I still want to see HEALTHY relationships between black couples being portrayed by the media in books and on television.
I like seeing a happy family, living life, raising their kids…but for some reason the media likes to shove black trauma pieces at us instead. Don’t they know you could have a love story like Cory and Topanga but with BIPOC characters?
I wish I could remember exactly what she said on the stream about this because it was so perfect. It reminded me of a tweet I saw about how this girl wanted to see a romance film featuring an interracial couple where one of the love interests wasn’t white, for example Indigenous and Caribbean. There are relationships like this in the real world and yet I haven’t seen them portrayed anywhere. Actually I lied, that one show on Netflix with Devery Jacobs has her character dating a black actress in the second season. Sadly I can’t remember…THE ORDER. That’s it. Campy horror, wevewolf show that screams Canadian horror so bad…that I can’t help but love it. I love me some campy made in Canada horror shows haha. But there, like…it wasn’t difficult for them to portray this type of relationship! So to that girl who tweeted that, stuff is out there. Just have to find it and then promote it like crazy so more of it gets made!
And that leads me to my next point, as readers we need to do better in what we choose to read and promote. As Bookish Realm said, we should track what we read and compare numbers. How many BIPOC authors have you read in 2020? How many do you plan on reading in 2021? If you’re like me and read a lot of manga are you going to try and find manga and comics made by BIPOC artists?
I’m aware that conversations about race can be uncomfortable, but I’m a person that honestly learns better through having discussions with others. Respectful, open discussions where each person feels like they are being heard…because discussions can make us vulnerable.
The discussion tonight, had a lot of people in tears because there is such a strong need for change and yet when it came down to it, six months later things remained ultimately the same. I don’t want another six months to go by without seeing some sort of change. Especially when so many people in this community have been working their butts off to create a place where all of us feel welcome, safe and loved!
I truly believe…and maybe it’s because I’m kind of an optimistic daydreamer type of person…but I want to believe that each little change we make can create an overall greater change for the community.
Now, here’s what I found in my quick Google search:
A lot of what I read romance-wise is shojo so I’m not too familiar with these authors…however, O magazine posted a list of the 30 Best Black Romance Novels.
I also found another list called 20 Romance Novels by Black Authors to Read this Summer.
On the Goodread’s list I see more books that I recognize. I’ve seen them on display in bookstores or a friend or family member was reading them. I’ve seen Make a Scene haha. Pun intended.
I honestly think, and this is because I don’t really read Adult Romance genres…or I should say read romance but it’s usually the sub-genre (unless its shojo then it’s all romance, first love blah blah blah)…I’m going to challenge myself to find more comics, manga and webtoons created by BIPOC that are like the ones I enjoy reading already. Superheroes and romance are my main loves with comics (especially magical girls!). I’m going to try and research this a little tonight and see what I come up with!
When building my character’s personalities and backstories I like to include as many details as possible. I’ve created character profile pages like the ones in manga, which usually include a list of things like favourite foods, blood type, star sign etc. Not only is it fun but it also allows me to spend quality time with each individual character.
I love watching my characters go from being an idea to a fully fleshed out being…well fully fleshed out on paper (haha).
Each of these types of questions gives me a chance to think about who my characters are. What makes them happy? What frustrates them? Do they have trouble sleeping at night?
I may never use this information, but I find knowing it allows the story to progress naturally. I don’t have to think hard about how each character would respond because I’ve taken the time to get to know them as if they were a close friend.
So…do my character’s have any special hobbies or interests?
Nicholas likes to draw. Many of the things he’s good at he considers hobbies as they were things he used to do with his grandmother. He’s always done them, so he hasn’t acknowledged that he might actually have a talent for them. He can also play music by ear, something that he picked up as a little kid. These are things that actually come up in the novel.
He also loves to explore and make friends with small animals. Mainly frogs or rabbits. He’s known in his family for bringing home new “pets” every once in a while.
Rose likes to read. She’s the type of person who can’t go into a library or a bookstore without walking out with a book. She’ll reread her favourites over and over and will even come up with her own stories to share with her family. Aside from that, Rose collects ribbons that she uses to accessorize with her outfits.
I’m not exactly sure why I always associated her character with ribbons but from day one that’s how I pictured her. I like that she’s a talkative, fashionable bookworm. Even when she reads, likes to read with or to someone. She’s what my Nana would call a little chatterbox…but it’s one of my favourite thing about her character.
Roland plays the piano. He can also play the guitar but it isn’t his favourite instrument. He just likes how portable it is. He quit playing before he reached his twenties and gave up on the idea of being a professional musician. Prior to that he dabbled in writing his own music and was forced by his teacher to sing solos at the school’s Frost pageant. Before that he was shy about playing or singing in public but after he gained a lot of confidence. Performing made him really happy. Now he claims not to have time for it but every so often he’ll sit down and play something.
He doesn’t look anything like Soul when he plays…I thought I should add that. Although it would be funny if he hunched over like that and smiled at the keys.
Dianna likes to travel. She did a lot of it while she was in college, especially between semesters. She’s very adventurous and loves meeting new people, which is mentioned in the first book. She even does some travelling in it! She doesn’t have her own car but if she did, she’d probably spend most of her time on the road. A lot of the time she travels by train. She also learned a new language while she was in university, which comes in handy (but no spoilers!).
I’m not sure if anyone other than Peter would consider this a hobby…but he really likes hanging out at the pub. He likes the food, the people and the music. I don’t believe he’s actually shown hanging out there in the first book but it does mention it a few times. A lot of the time he’ll go there to catch up with old classmates or to kill time. Unlike some of the other character’s Peter has a lot of time on his hands, so he spends it either doing something stupid with Roland (like most bored people), going on the odd date or hanging out at the pub.
Well, I’d say it’s time to get back to work! I’ve been back and forth between recording, work and catching up on my TBR list (which never stops growing!).
I really want to see how much of the sequel I can knock out before the end of the month. If you’d like to see some of my process, I posted some writing vlogs on my YouTube channel.
This one features me painting my home studio, a portion of my manga collection and my sister’s Persona 5 posters haha. The sparkly guy in the thumbnail was made by my niece. He’s a love bug.
For the month of October I wanted to start introducing my character’s. So on my instagram since it’s #drawtober I’ve decided that for 31 days I’ll be drawing my characters using a variety of prompts. Yesterday’s drawing wasn’t one that I really thought through. I ended up drawing something completely different that I’d initially planned, however going forward I’ll be sticking to my schedule.
I’ll also be doing a blog prompt OC-tober as well! You’re welcome to participate. I’d love to check your your posts, so be sure to leave links to them in the comments for me!
I’m very excited about this and I’m looking forward to taking a bit of time each day to do something creative.
Anyway, here are my prompts! The first list is for drawing and the second is for blogging (or vlogging, whichever your prefer).
- Your OC
2. With a pumpkins
3. On their day off
4. Reading a book
5. With their best friend/squad
6. Eating their favourite food
7. With their family
8. As a toddler
9. Saying their catchphrase
10. Enjoying their favourite drink
11. In Love
12. As a villain
13. In mourning
14. Playing an instrument
15. In their happy place
16. As a student
17. Getting ready for bed
18. With their least favourite person
20. Being mischievous
21. Trying something new
22. At a Fall formal
23. Lost in the woods
24. With a black cat
25. Meeting a ghost
26. Singing their favourite song
27. As your favourite TV/movie character
28. Doing something crazy
29. In their favourite outfit
30. In a fun costume
31. At a party
As for my blog posts. I’ve decided to use some different prompts.
- Novel Inspo board.
- Create character interview questions
- Character Mood Playlist: Chill Vibes
- Character Outfit Board: Fall
- Interview a character
- Write a poem about your character
- Describe one of your favourite moments in the book
- Which authors inspire you?
- Write a song about your character
- Interview another character
- What is your writing process like?
- Character Mood Playlist: Sad Vibes/What is your character thankful for?
- Character Outfit Board: Formal
- What is your favourite scene in the book?
- What are your top 5 quotes from your book?
- Interview another character
- Describe an average day in the life of your character
- Character Menu: If your character had a restaurant what would they serve?
- Do the 16 personalities quiz as one of your characters. Tell us the results!
- Character Mood Playlist: Romantic Vibes
- What was your character like as a child (if they’re a child what will they be like as an adult?)
- Who is the biggest influence in your character’s life and why?
- Character Outfit Board: Date night
- Write a brief scene between your character and someone they admire.
- Write a brief scene between your character and someone who hurt them.
- Interview another character.
- Character Mood Playlist: Angry Vibes.
- Character Bedroom Board (show us how your character would decorate their personal space).
- Character Bookshelf (show us what types of books your character might enjoy reading).
- Come up with a tagline for your book (if you don’t already have one).
- Create a Chapter Playlist and describe what your character might be doing today!
🤖 IT IS FINISHED!🤖
I am happy to announce that I finished editing the final chapter of my novel yesterday! Now all that’s left is to read everything over and send it to my editor!
I’ve been working on a lot of other projects, so my editing had to take a backseat for almost all of August while I adjusted to my new schedule.
However, during my break period I’ve been playing around with a particular scene in my head, trying to see what I could do with it to really raise the stakes.
This may sound a bit silly to a handful of you reading this but my burst of inspiration came while watching cartoons. I kept thinking to myself while watching Miraculous Ladybug and Young Justice (I’m a sucker for superheros), how excellent the writing of the shows were. Especially in the case with Miraculous.
I’m on the edge of my seat (as an adult viewer), wondering what’s going to happen next. Im scared for them. Will they lose their miraculous this time? Will Hawkmoth finally win? Will they find out each others secret identities?
This is what I want to create for my readers someday. I want them to think “I need to know what happens next!” That anticipation and excitement is what makes stories so fun.
So, in regards to this particular scene it finally hit me that, in order to make sure that I actually accomplish this, I need to instill that same emotion in both myself and my characters.
Honestly, I don’t know what it is about this one scene that has made it so difficult these past few months, but I’m ready to tackle it.
Of course, I’m also being mindful of my other obligations (recordings, auditions, part-time job etc). Sometimes I wonder if I should get a t-shirt that lists what it is I do. I have a hard time explaining it to people.
I know I also promised to record this last edit, and I will…but I have misplaced my tripod at the moment so fingers crossed I can find it.
This is the final song on my character D’s playlist. I honestly love this song so much, I taught myself how to play it on guitar. It also ends up on my Instagram stories…often. It’s just pretty. I think I instantly fall for songs that remind me of my character’s or certain scenes. This song makes me think about D and R’s relationship both past and present.
Maybe I’ll post a cover of this on my YouTube channel later this month. When I have time to record it haha. I’ve got about 4 things to record tomorrow morning before I go to work. Still adjusting to this new schedule but I am glad to be working again after such a long time.
I’m also aware that I haven’t done an official AuthorTube video yet. I tried recording it twice now haha. I just didn’t like how it turned out, so I’m going to try again sometime in the near future as well. I think I’ll feel better about it once I finish this round of edits and pass them on to my editor.
I have three chapters left to edit…just three. It’s also 3 am while I’m writing this and I’m not sure how my brain is functioning. I’ll probably read this post in the morning like, “What did I write?” but I wanted to express my thoughts now while they’re fresh.
I still have to do a full read through again before I’m officially done this edit, and from what I remember there are a couple of places that I wanted to return to just to double check that everything lines up properly. I think there’s also a scene or two that needs a bit more building…but as for everything else, there are only three left to edit. Just three.
I guess this edit took me the majority of the month. It was fun. Hard work but definitely fun. I really enjoyed reading my editors comments. I really only talk about my writing with my sister these days, so having someone else read my work has been fantastic. Aside from twitter and some online writing chats, I don’t usually have discussions about my characters.
I mean, I haven’t even addressed them by their names on my blog or Twitter. I did this because some names had been changed during the editing process, and it was just easier to do initials on Twitter to save character’s…but still. I’m sure if people wanted to know my one MC’s name, they could just go to my publishers website. It was in one of the newsletters.
Wow…this just…everything is really starting to hit me. My novel is being published. Other people are going to be able to read my work. Gah…this is so weird. Weird in a good way. I can’t believe how much editing I got done. I felt like I didn’t do anything today, but apparently I did way more than that single chapter I was going to work on.
Part of me wants to print everything off once I’ve finished and just read through it in its entirety. I wonder if I could finish it in one sitting? I should set some time aside to do that.
I’m definitely treating myself once I finish this edit. I’ve been working on this book for such a long time…and I’ve grown to love it more and more. Editing it has been almost therapeutic. Especially with all that’s been going on this year.
I’m going to go to sleep now. I’ll try and record my final edits for my vlog. I have one that was supposed to go up today but the video had a strange error when I saved it, and I had to start all over. So it will be up tomorrow instead. I mean…today? It will be up on the 30th. Which is today.
I can’t believe I’m almost done this part of the process!