Editing Update

I’m currently doing a read through of my manuscript trying to watch out for crutch words. While drafting my manuscript I kept a list of these words, words that I tend to overuse, and going through the list I’m actually pleased with how just keeping track of them has helped me reduce them a fair amount. Now that I know what the results are for each of these words, I’ve set a minimum and maximum usage amount, followed by alternative words so that I can focus on finding appropriate substitutes. I base the usage amount of the overall word count for my manuscript.

Of course, I’m sure my editor will find other words that I may not have picked up on myself, but many of these words are ones that they pointed out with my first book, so I’m hoping to reduce them before passing my manuscript along to her.

Crutch words aside, I’ve also created a checklist outside of my draft notes on any corrections, additions or areas that I think need fluffing or cutting down. I’ve also included a list of things to keep in mind while I’m reading.

I like to do these types of full edits before I pass my manuscripts along, because I find that the cleaner my draft is, the easier time we’ll have going over it.

For this edit, I’ve been making great use of my thesaurus, and am challenging myself to step away from my comfort zones a little bit. Anything that seems off or feels like it needs to be reworked or cut, I’ve been tackling immediately. My goal is to complete this edit by the end of the day, and so far I’ve been making great progress. With that said, it’s back to work for me. I’ll be treating myself to some ice cream once I complete everything on my list.

You and Me

Lyrics I know you and me Could be More than two I know you and me Could be I don’t want to say goodbye To […]

April Novel Update

Back in October of 2020 I wrote a post about what real life books the cast of Vermin might have on their bookshelves. It was probably one of my favourite posts to make. I’d love to do a version with modern books, as I tried to choose those that would’ve been published during the time the series takes place. I’ll definitely make time to go through some books and see which ones fit best with which characters.

Book two is going very well editing wise. I was hoping to get through this final bit before the end of the month, but then I realized that the month is ending like…tomorrow! It’s already May!

I’m going to make sure I tidy up these scenes, and make sure I go through and read everything over one final time before I send it off. I over edit…I know that…so I’m thankful that I have an amazing editor who can say “Okay. Enough! It’s good!”

I really need that. I wish I had an editor back when I was in school, because I constantly felt like my work was incomplete, sometimes starting over five or six times. This is why I have my 3 rounds of edits rule. After three times of looking over my work, I will pass it on to the next person.

If you’re like me and find yourself constantly needing to make sure everything is “perfect” I recommend putting a limit on yourself. I find three full edits takes me less time, and allows me to meet my deadlines. Of course, different methods work for different people, but this has definitely made things less stressful.

Please be on the lookout for another giveaway, as there will be more after book two release announcements are made. This will again be held on Goodreads, and I will of course send out reminders to everyone during the duration of the giveaway so that they have an opportunity to enter.

I’m so excited for this second book! Thank you to everyone who has read book one, for being so patient. I’ve loved hearing your thoughts on the series so far, and I love that my characters have resonated with you.

If you’re interested in character themed content, here are some posts you can check out:

Character Bookshelf

Character Interview #4 Rose

And of course, there is also character related content on TikTok @TheVerminSeries.

If you would like to listen to the first chapter of the book for free, you can check it out here on YouTube:

That aside, I’d like to wish you a lovely day. Keep reading, stay hydrated and stay tuned for my review of an upcoming young reader’s book being published by Scholastic. It is absolutely fantastic, and perfect for fans of superheroes, kid’s who love to draw…and anyone that absolutely adores fantasy.


Read More about Vermin

We Have Our Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Vermin giveaway contest on Goodreads! We’re thrilled to announce that we have our four winners, and I personally […]

A Poem for Dianna on TikTok

You can read the full poem here on the blog: A Poem for Dianna.


Read More about Vermin

April Novel Update

Back in October of 2020 I wrote a post about what real life books the cast of Vermin might have on their bookshelves. It was […]

We Have Our Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Vermin giveaway contest on Goodreads! We’re thrilled to announce that we have our four winners, and I personally can’t wait to mail out their books.

Hosting a giveaway always seemed a bit scary to me, but I’m glad I did. I will definitely host another closer to the release of book two, so be on the lookout of that, if you’re interested.

Again, congratulations! I hope you enjoy reading Vermin, and thank you for entering the contest.

Songs You’ll Want On Your Playlist Based on Your Favourite Character

Roland

Dianna

Nicholas

Rose

Peter

Micah

Zana

Thompson

Julius

Caspian

Vincent


Read More about Vermin

When Roland Met Dianna…

Want to win a signed copy of Vermin? You can enter the giveaway on Goodreads in March! The contest opens March 1st, and will run […]

Books You Should Read if Rose Is Your Favourite Character

Something you might’ve noticed is that almost all of these books fall under romance. Rose is a romantic at heart, and adores books with romance, animals or adventures. She’d most likely be a big fan of stories like Pippi Longstocking, Black Beauty, and Little Women. If she was into manga/anime, I’d say she would definitely be a fan of series like Yona of the Dawn or Love Me, Love Me Not.

Something of hers that I wish I had, is her attic library. It’s so cozy up there, and she has books that were collected first by her grandparents, then her father and uncle, and now a collection of her own. I love finding books that belonged to my family members and reading them…plus old books have this gentle…almost calming scent and feel to them, and that connection to books is something I definitely share with her character.

If you could recommend a book to one of your favourite characters from the series, which would it be?


Read More about Vermin

Nicholas’ Playlist

“Hallet, Matya Frudach!“ Translation: “Hello my friend!” In today’s post I’ll be sharing a handful of songs off of Nicholas’ playlist. Like Roland and Dianna’s […]

A bit of Rambling After A Lot of Tea

So far the new year has gifted me with wonderful literature. I’ve read dozens of books and haven’t dnf’ed a single one. I’ve actually enjoyed the majority and given many of them 4 and 5 star ratings.

Tonight I plan on reading, as I always do, and I’m finally at a place where my TBR pile is nearly finished so I can actually go out and get some new books. I actually borrowed books for the first time in forever, and finished both the day I got them! They were both equally stunning, and memorable. I’m so glad they caught my attention. I can’t wait to choose my next handful of reads. Of course, there are also a bunch of books that I’m excited to check out this year. One in particular this summer, that I’m definitely going to pre-order. I’ve got a little collection of this authors work going, and thus far she has yet to disappoint me. I’ve definitely got to lend some of those books to the readers in my family. I think they’ll really enjoy them.

I’m a bit wired, despite it being late in the evening, but I’ve had a lot of tea…like three or four cups? I lost track at some point. I tried exercising to help myself calm down a bit but I’m still wound up. I’m usually like this after I record or write…I get really hyper and excited. I suppose excited is probably the best way to describe it.

Oh, right! On that note, I’m pleased to announce that the Vermin book giveaway is officially underway, and people can enter on March 1st. I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway during my birth month. It makes it all the more special. For this giveaway, we’ll be giving away four signed copies, to people who have added the book to their list on Goodreads.

The other day one of my best friends told me that another friend of hers got a copy of my book, which made me super happy! It was so sweet of her to recommend it to someone, and I always love hearing peoples feedback. Plus a few of her friends are local authors as well, and I absolutely love supporting my fellow authors. Many of the authors I’ve met so far are YA and Children’s Lit authors, which is awesome because I still read those genres both in my free time and for work.

The sequel for Vermin still doesn’t have a title yet, but I have to say I am absolutely in love with certain scenes. It’s so hard not to talk about it and gush over things because I want to…but I don’t want to spoil it for new readers! I hate having books spoiled for me. I’ll be sure to share the link to the ARCs when the time comes. I believe these will be digital copies like last time? They should work on kindles. I don’t have a kindle or kobo currently, and read most of my ebook ARCs using an app on my computer called Overdrive. I think it also allows me to sign out library books? So if anyone is ever worried about that, it works really well, and makes it easy to keep track of page numbers, chapters etc.

I’ve actually got a few ARCs to complete before the end of February…I believe those books are releasing mid-March, so I definitely want to get my reviews out by then. I highly recommend checking out review sites that offer ARCs like Netgalley, ARC Reviewers or…there’s another one I’ve used but I can’t recall the name. It might be linked with Reedsy? Anyway, I like all three and I’ve found some really great books on there. I love the fact that I can explore a bunch of new genres, or get to check out debuts, and new series. Plus writing reviews is really fun for me.

I only annotate books with sticky notes and things occasionally. Mainly because I don’t like writing on the actual pages, so instead I’ll write down words or phrases that stick out to me or my favourite things in a notebook. I also developed a skill growing up, where I’d memorize page numbers from where I left off in a book, and now it’s fairly easy for me to flip through and find my favourite passages. This was incredibly helpful whenever we had to do read aloud assignments in university, and explain what stood out to us about each passage. I think annotating everything I read, would make me feel like I was doing homework…but it’s still fun journaling. Perhaps I’ll set up an official book journal this year? Maybe I’ll start one next month.

I’ll share the links to those two ARC websites, for anyone interested in doing reviews:

Netgalley

ARC Reviewers

From these sites I’m currently reading Escaping the Caves, and a manga called Falling Down. As for already released books, I’m reading Let Me Save You, and A Sign of Affection Vol. 4.

Happy reading!

“You’re all probably wondering why i called this meeting…”

@theverminseries

“You’re all probably wondering why I called this meeting” 🙄#booksbooksbooks #bookishthings #reading #theverminseries

♬ original sound – VI KEELAND

What have you been reading lately?

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been catching up on some reading am would love to challenge myself to see how many books I can complete in a week. I’m almost finished the two I’ve been reading, so I’ll probably start this challenge once I’m finished them. While reading, I’m also taking some notes on passages that really stick out to me, not exactly in an annotated kind of way, but more just keeping my notebook nearby and jotting down what about that line or passage made me say, “Wow this is fantastic!”

I’m considering this a part of my research, since I feel reading helps me write better, and pushes me to try out new techniques, genres or styles. Plus, it’s fun!

The one book I’m reading is at a very crucial point, and I’d like to avoid spoilers so…I’ll just let you know, that I’m both excited and worried for the characters! If they kill off my faves I will probably cry. Who am I kidding? I will definitely cry! I’ve had so many of my favourite characters die off between the books and shows I love, that I’m lining up an entire list of soft-cute-fluff shojo to read on the side.

Well, I best get back to my books!

Reading, Writing and Rambling

I’m always fascinated by how my favourite authors always manage to reel me into their stories, so much that I’ve reached a point where if I know they’re releasing a new book I mark the release date in my calendar or prepare for preorders.

They’re such fantastic storytellers. Each story they write, every new character and setting, is so much fun, and it can be exciting to count down the days until a new novel is announced!

Right now, I’m doing a bit of tweaking before my first full read through of my manuscript. I prefer to do the first read aloud to test how it sounds to my ear, get a feel for the pace, and take the time to make sure each scene flows accordingly. This also allows me to pay closer attention to character voice in my first draft. Because I enjoy character driven stories, voice is one of the main things that pulls me into a novel. I’m the type of person who selects which books I’d like to read, based on whether or not I continue reading after the first chapter. Normally, if I find I’m already onto the third chapter, I end up loving the book. This isn’t always the case, but I’d say 75% it’s accurate. I don’t mind plot driven stories, but they usually take me a little longer to get into, and I’m more likely to look for reviews from friends with these types of stories. However, I’ve read great pieces on both ends, and I think that for craft purposes, it’s a good idea to explore both, even if you lean more towards one over the other.

Reading for me is both a hobby, and an exercise. I absolutely adore stories, and because I’m engaging with them constantly through work, I also take the time to think about what I’ve read, the way the language works on the page, and how each writer approaches their craft. I love looking at the ways different writers go about introducing characters into a scene, or how they unveil the setting. There are so many things you can learn about writing when you read. Plus, I find books comforting, and often count the hours until I can curl up in a blanket and read uninterrupted.

Although, slightly off topic, I’m currently reading two books at the same time, and loving both. I can’t wait to share my reviews. I was actually been reading them slowly on purpose because I couldn’t think of what to read next! Thankfully, I’ve got a stack of novels, manga and graphic novels lined up around my room, so I have a wide variety to choose from. Now I’m reading fast again, because truthfully, I’m a little overwhelmed by all the options…perhaps overwhelmed isn’t the right word, as I am in fact whelmed…what I mean is, that there’s so much to choose from and so many new books releasing this year, that I feel as if I must read everything I currently have before I can even think about adding new books to my collection! On top of that, a handful of my favourite authors have announced they’re releasing books this year, so I already have a 2022 TBR in the works. Part of me is hoping I can finish a few books this week. It’s times like this that I miss starting and finishing three or four books a day. How did I managed to read so quickly? Well…I suppose at one time all I did was read on the weekend. In my second year old university, my reading definitely slowed down…but I still was managing 3 or 4 books a week. These were for school though?

Well perhaps I’ll challenge myself once I complete these two, and see how many books I can finish in a week? I’m honestly curious, and I think it’d be good to crack open a good book and dive right into it, versus dragging it out for as long as possible haha.

Well, I best get back to my manuscript if I want to have time to read later this evening. I wish you all the best in your own goals this year! Also, as I’m trying to do this myself, remember to stay hydrated and to get up and stretch every now and then!