Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The End is in Sight!

With Award-winning, Best-selling author Linda Goodnight!

The End is in Sight!

Linda Goodnight here, thrilled to be invited back to Seekerville to share some editing tips and other fun things. Hugs, kisses and bows to the fabulous Ruthy for the invitation.

For a month now, you brave, brilliant writers have pounded away on Speedbo full steam ahead, compasses pointed true north. No limits! You are, in short, doing something that the majority of the populous will never do. You’re writing a book.

Pause here for cheers and to ring Mary Connealy’s cowbells and blow those blower things you have leftover from New Year’s Eve. Really. If you’re still writing anything, you’ve earned the high praise.
In celebration of all you’ve accomplished I give you this extra bit of encouragement to keep on keeping on:

What could be more encouraging than a little Superman eye candy? Henry Cavill, aka Superman, was my visual aid for Eli Donovan, the hero of The Memory House, which-ahem-releases today!

I’m actually launching my first women’s fiction novel from HQN here at Seekerville. At this moment, somewhere in the world, a copy of The Memory House is sitting on a shelf, waving its branchy arms, awaiting a reader. So, remember handsome Eli and grab a copy (or leave a comment and win one!) And with my compliments, have a virtual glass of peach tea made my heroine, Julia, at her antebellum bed and breakfast in rural Tennessee.

I’ll even throw in a delicious banana nut muffin for sustenance because, let’s face it, sometimes writing is hard. Lots of times it’s hard, but those times separate the real writers from those who mostly wish they could or those who talk about writing but never do.
The Memory House was not an easy book to write. If I’d quit all the times the writing was hard, I wouldn’t be celebrating today. That’s another key to perseverance. Envision the day your book launches, the day when you hold your book in your hands or see it on the shelves. Visualize. Dream.
Though I have about fifty titles under my belt, I’d never stretched as far as I did with The Memory House. There were days when I sat with my head on my desk and prayed more than I wrote. But I also experienced days of pure joy and creativity and the absolute wonder of seeing the ideas and people in my head come to life.

Isn’t that the best feeling?

So, if Speedbo has brought you to the end of your manuscript, congratulations! Now, it’s time to edit. Don’t groan. Editing is fun because-think about this-the hard work is over! The story is on the page.
To edit, I usually go through the manuscript a minimum of three times, and each pass has a different focus. I also use little sticky flags to mark places that need work. Below are some of my editing strategies. Keep in mind everyone has different techniques so this method is not in concrete. But it works for me.
1.     Print a hard copy and move away from the computer. This tells your brain you’re in editing mode, which is different from writer mode.
2.       Read through the pages paying attention to major developmental items. Does the story make sense from beginning to end? Are the characters believable and realistic? Would they really behave this way? Is the dialogue stilted or silly or out of character? Is there enough white space? Are there too many pages of narrative? Would you want to read this scene/book if it wasn’t yours?
3.   I generally scribble notes at the top of each chapter about the content and whether I think it needs a little or a lot more work.
4.   Flag any areas where your attention drifts. You may need to rewrite, tighten, or cut those passages because if you lose focus, so will your readers. Also pay attention to scenes that feel flat. If so, make a note to check for those all-important five senses, especially crucial in scenes where the emotions are heightened. (If you struggle with this, read Julie Lessman’s books. She does a great job of squeezing in those five senses.)
5.      The second pass is to fix all the things you found on the first pass! Sometimes during this edit, I find places I can deepen and strengthen. I also find where I’ve overused the characters’ names in dialogue or used my demon words too often. We all have them. Figure out which words you overuse (Really? Just? Heart?) and reduce the number of them or grab Rodale’s synonym finder for an alternative.
6.      The third and final edit is for grammar, punctuation, typing errors, and those tiny tweaks you may have missed before. And voila’, you’ve reached the magical, The End!

In honor of your accomplishments this month, I’m giving away a signed, print copy of The Memory House. All you have to do to be entered is to leave a comment!

Now, let’s get this conversation started. Tell me how Speedbo went for you. Was it hard? Did the words flow? Did you carve out the whole week or thirty minutes here and there? Will you keep going?  If you’d rather, share an editing tip or a favorite line from your manuscript. Or just talk to me about anything. I’m a good listener.

NY Times and USA Today Bestseller, Linda Goodnight’s stories have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and her husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Connect with Linda on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.lindagoodnight.com, and look for her new book, The Memory House, available right now!!

Linda’s blog tour continues all week. For details and more chances to win a copy of The Memory House, see the blog schedule posted here. www.lindagoodnight.blogspot.com

Ruthy here: I love Linda, she's such a great example of all that's right in this business and the world that I had to get her over to Seekerville and celebrate the release of her new single title "The Memory House". I can't wait to buy it and read it, and I'm grabbin' hold of a nice, tall glass of peach tea right now!

And Ruthy-cookies, of course! 


  1. Thank you, Linda. I'm sitting here enjoying your (or Julia's) peach tea and banana nut muffin and Ruthy's cookies. I'm a reader, so I can only mention how fun it was to visit Seekerville this month and cheer on the busy writers! If I qualify, I'd love to have my name entered to win your novel! Have a great day!

  2. I'm one of the first commenters! Of course, I'm doing it before bed instead of in the morning. :)

    Welcome, Linda! I'm so happy to have you here. And I'm looking so forward to this new book! What would you say is the biggest difference between writing a 55-60k word LI and this single title?

    Thanks for sharing how you do your drafts. It's very similar to mine. I highly recommend doing the polishing on paper. I find a lot more that way.

  3. Thanks for the great article! I just completed my last day of Speedbo. My goal was 15,000 words. I got 10,542 which wasn't the goal but it was a PB! So I'm happy with that. I'm nearly at 40,000 in total, so almost half way through my WIP.

    I managed all this with two weeks off writing, so if I hadn't had that two weeks off I wold have written more. but alas those two weeks couldn't have been helped!

    Congrats on everyone for all their Speedbo efforts!!

  4. I hope everyone accomplished all that they planned to - and more.

  5. Jess!!!!!

    That is wonderful! Stinkin' amazing! I'm rallying a parade for you!

    Honestly to do that in two weeks is a great personal best. Congratulations!

  6. Linda Goodnight!

    It's so stinkin' nice to have you back here! First, huge, mega congratulations to you on the release today of your new book! And hugs for the step up/out to single title. I'm so proud of you!

    I love the process of writing. I get so involved in it mentally... but I'm having fun, while involved. I hope this never gets old.

  7. This is definitely a keeper post. Thank you Linda.

    This month I have been a cheerleader due to things beyond my control. Writing is sitting on a back burner to be pulled back up front in a few weeks as my characters are running rampant in my head. But I am so happy for all who were able to do Speedbo this month and achieve their goals or come close. You all should be proud. Think of all the wonderful books that have been created this month.

    I think all the Speedboers need to get a big "Yee Hah" for their efforts.

    Linda, I would love to win a copy of your book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  8. Good morning, Linda! Welcome to Seekerville.

    Congratulations on your new book. I appreciate you sharing how you edit. It wounds like a great story.

    I've got 13000 words to go to make my goal. It could still happen.

    Congrats to everybody who made their goals already!

  9. I love banana nut muffins!!! Welcome back to Seekerville, Linda!!

    And editing is my favorite part.

    I wonder if Miss Julia makes her peach tea from scratch??

  10. Good morning, Linda and Ruthy.

    Thanks for starting my day off with such a lovely post.

    My Speedbo was ghuggin along quite nicely until copy edits for my October book arrived. I still managed to write 1k a day for most of them until Sunday - crunch time. But I figure since I edited at least 60k on Sunday inputting all my notes, the day counted.

    Linda, your LI books were some of the first I read and you inspired me to write for LI. I can't wait to read your debut HQN. Please put me in for the drawing just so I could have the autographed copy. ;) I'm downloading to my nook as I write this.

    Thanks for sharing your editing tips!

  11. *sigh* I hope I did better on copy edits than on this post. That was supposed to shay chugging not ghugging.

  12. Linda, thank you for your tips on editing. I will need them very soon.

    I surpassed my goals as far as word count which now stands at 51,683. My other goal was to finish my first novel which is nearing the end and I will push through till it is finished,

    I added a new goal during speedbo when I learned of the blurb to book so I needed to begin one for that. Yesterday I started writing this one and have the first 1k of it written.

    Hoping to add at least a 1,000 to each of the manuscripts today.

  13. Ruth thanks for the encouragement!!

  14. Linda,

    I just checked my email, and Goodreads sent me a notice that your book is now available. (I had it on my 'To-read' shelf.) I though you'd be excited about that.

    Also I wrote 200 words, so I'm getting closer. I'll get back at it tonight. Have a great day!

  15. Oh my, you girls are early birds. But now I'm up and have my coffee and let's get this party started. Marion, of course you're entered in the drawing. I'm delighted to have you here.

  16. Linda, so excited about The Memory House! Can't wait to read. HQN! Great!

    Love that you mentioned working on a hard copy of the manuscript when you edit. I do the same, although I punch holes in the pages and insert them into a 3-ringed binder, which lets me read through the pages as if it were already a bound book. I use the blank back page on the left for notes or added text that overflows from the page on the right. Somehow not disturbing the computer copy until I'm sure of the changes I want to make reassures me and gives me permission to make lots of editing marks on the hard copy.

    So glad you can be with us today. Thanks for launching your new release on Seekerville! Such an honor for us!

  17. Missy, to me, the biggest difference between the smaller books and a long single title, besides page count, of course, is trying to juggle all the threads and keep all the subplots flowing together without losing track. Since I am not a plotter, this is much harder to do than if I had it all written down somewhere.

  18. Jess, I think your word count was terrific! And to do it in two weeks, girl, you rock! Keep on keeping on!

  19. Ruth, Tina, and Debbie, thank you for the warm welcome. Seekerville is truly the place to be.

    Tina, yes, Miss Julia makes her peach tea from scratch. The recipe, which my daughter and I love to drink, is on my blog at www.lindagoodnight.blogspot.com.

  20. Cindy W., I hope I said something useful that you can use when you get back to your writing. Sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn't it?

  21. Jackie, Mary, Wilani, woo-hoo! And a big cheer for your accomplishments this month. Doesn't it feel good to look down at that word count and realize that you really did it?

    Every single day when I reach my goal for the day, I have this great feeling of accomplishment. There is something about setting goals that is powerful to a writer. Even a small goal accomplished is good for the psyche, don't you think?

  22. Wilani, you probably get asked this all the time, but you have the coolest name. Is there a story behind it?

  23. Okay, I think I'm caught up for the moment. But I'm so excited to be here with you today at Seekerville to launch my new book and to just hang out with a great group of gals. I think I'll take a short break to have my devotional because it makes me nicer. :))

  24. I always want to read that book that the author found difficult to write. Feel free to toss my name into the hat.

    Family of 8? You do have your hands busy and am still able to write so many great books. That in itself is inspiring.

    I'm rewriting a book for the 2nd half of Speedbo but really hoping to have the first section ready by the end of the week. Today would be even better. Must work fast so I'm going to get busy now.

    Thanks for the post Linda!

  25. I always do a hard copy on my books, and I usually do a couple hard copies because I see little things better. Repeat words/phrases/broken thoughts.

    I don't know why that is, but a clean final manuscript is really important to me. I want that editor to think "Wow, she really cares about what she does."

    #anxioustoplease personality!

  26. I'd love to read your new release Linda! I'm echoing Cindy Ws reasons for not writing during Speedbo, bu I'm cheerleading all the way still!

  27. Forgot to mention: I've loved your LI and I'm so looking forward to reading this single novel.

  28. Jess, that's a fantastic work count!! And in two weeks! Nice job.

  29. Yee haw!! (That's me giving a big cheer like Cindy W. asked for). :)

  30. Jackie, you're so close!! Woo hoo!

  31. LOL, Mary Curry. I kind of liked ghugging. I could really envision that! :)

  32. Linda, that's interesting about juggling all the subplots. That would be tough!

  33. Hi Linda,
    I really enjoy your books and The Memory House sounds great. I haven't been in Speedbo officially, but I have been editing all month and have just about finished this sweep through. Your tips are so helpful and I too concentrate on one thing at the time but usually go through 5 or 6 times. Maybe I can get it down to 3 eventually.

  34. I'm back from my devotional time, revved up and ready to party!

    Connie, we had five kids at home when I started and sometimes I think maybe the writing was my mental escape! lol Now, I just have my two adopted teens left and they are so awesome and helpful, they make writing easier.

  35. Mary and Missy, I kind of liked ghugging too. :)

    Linda, ghugging away.

  36. Sarah, thank you for the nice words about my Love Inspired books. THE MEMORY HOUSE is different, but not TOO different. I'm so blessed that the Lord lets me write!

  37. Ruthy,
    I'm a people pleaser too. One my favorite memories happened back in the old days when they sent us hard copies of our edits. Once my editor left the editorial direction sheet in the package. She had marked, "Clean manuscript. Light edit only." I was like a puppy getting a pat on the head. So thrilled. :) It was also positive reinforcement that keeps me running off that hard copy and going at it with a mechanical pencil!

  38. My name is Cherokee. There is a legend that a man named Tsali gave his life so the cherokee's could continue to live in NC. Tsali's wife was named Wilani. I am not Cherokee but I was born in Cherokee teritory in Hiawassee, Georgia.

  39. Elaine, if it takes 5-6 times through a manuscript, that's okay. I'm sure I go through a book that many times or more before it's finished. I edit daily on the computer, usually the last 20 pages, as I move into the day's work. The editing I posted about comes after I've done all I can do on the computer!

    Like Ruthy said, I'm a pleaser.

  40. Congrats on the new book, Linda! I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I use your book, The Lawman's Honor, as a template, BTW. The plot, arcs, message, etc. are so well constructed and they serve as my reminders when I write off the road and into the mud. Thought you might like to know that book has blessed another writer.

    I won't hit my Speedbo goal this time, unlike other years when I blew past my goal. I knew this would be a tough task this year, but God is Good and I did write and make progress on other writing tasks.

  41. Wonderful to have you as our guest, Linda, and your new book looks wonderful--can't wait to read it!

    Great tips on editing! I haven't come to "the end" yet, but I've logged around 30K this month on the new book I began the end of February.

    My editing routine sounds a lot like yours, although I do my read-throughs on the computer. The most important thing on the first pass is to read the WHOLE book over 2-3 days so I can easily spot inconsistencies, repetition, and plot holes. If it's an easy fix, I'll do it right away. Otherwise, I'll make notes to come back to.

    BTW, I still have my notes from when I lived in Tulsa several years ago and you spoke at the ACFW chapter there!

  42. Great post, Linda. It's so good to remember that once the story is on the page, the hardest work is done. I forget that when I look at the notes I take of things that need changing/improving while writing the first draft.

    But, the hard work is done!

    For me, Speedbo was starts and stops. I got called for jury duty, which took two of my pre-set-aside writing days away. We also took the boys on a trip for their Spring Break. I did some writing while on our trip, but not as much as I would have liked. :)

    My goal was to write my sub-plot scenes, which I'm adding in to my first draft. I'm about 3/4 of the way through them. Some of the scenes are . . . BAD, but I know I can make them better, so I just got them on the page. :) I'm looking forward to finishing those up and going into revise/edit mode, for real. :)

  43. Wilani,
    What a cool origin for your name! And it's really beautiful. I was thinking Hawaiian when I first saw it.

  44. Okay, here I am on my sofa, calmly eating my peach oatmeal while enjoying Linda's blog, and BAM!! I suddenly see my name -- along with an incredibly sweet comment by superstar Linda Goodnight -- and promptly spew oatmeal on my screen.

    But, oh, sooooooo worth it!!!!!

    LINDA!!! Let me tell you right now that you made my day, my week, and probably my month with your kind comment and now I am sitting here, frantically trying to figure out how to include all five senses in my response ...

    Every author loves compliments, but when they come from a respected peer at the top of our profession, they mean all the more, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart ... and my oatmeal bowl! :)

    And I LOVE Rodale's Synonym Finder ... it's like my writer's Bible, and mine is in tatters, God's truth!! Another FABULOUS source I now use (since it doesn't tatter as easily) is the online One Look Reverse Dictionary, which is constantly open on my computer and now neck-in-neck with Rodale:


    Linda, you answered Missy's question as follows: "The biggest difference between the smaller books and a long single title, besides page count, of course, is trying to juggle all the threads and keep all the subplots flowing together without losing track. Since I am not a plotter, this is much harder to do than if I had it all written down somewhere."

    Oh, boy, I'll drink to that ... with my hazelnut coffee, of course, which I thankfully did NOT spew on my computer ... But I have to admit, I absolutely thrive on tying those threads all together and because I can always see God's hand in it when I'm done, weaving things I never even thought of, so I know it has to be Him!

    Okay, I've taken enough of your time, Linda, so thank you for even bothering to read my books in the first place -- WOW -- and for putting a smile on my face and oatmeal on my screen.


  45. Lyndee, thank you! What a true honor to know you use The Lawman's Honor as a template. Wow. You make me work harder to do this thing right!

    And hey, you're still writing and I count that as a win! What are you working on?

  46. So excited for your new release! Congrats!

  47. Peach tea sounds delish this morning after all the coffee I've had. My husband got up at 4:15 today to go fishing, so I feel like a walking zombie.

    My SPEEDBO goal was to write 30,000 words on my historical romance WIP, and I've surpassed 35,000--a major surprise to me. At this rate, I'll finish by the end of April, then it's on to the editing phase.

    Thanks to Ruthy, Mary, Julie, Missy and all my other Seekerville friends who have encouraged me this month!

    And I'd love a copy of your book to read.

  48. Myra,

    30,000 words since February is awesome! What's the new story about?

    I could not agree more about reading the whole thing through once it's done. Even then, I miss some things. HQN uses a fabulous copy editor who catches me doing crazy things and I love her for it. (Where did I put that baby while the heroine was out and about? lol)

  49. Julie, peach oatmeal! I need that recipe for Peach Orchard Inn. Miss Julia, my heroine, is always cooking up something peachy.

    It's easy to compliment someone when it's true! Girl, you are the queen of senses!

    Are you sharing that oatmeal or is it ALL splattered on the screen?

  50. Oh, forgot to say, for those who haven't used our fav Rodale's Synonym Finder, it's a treasure. Like Julie's, mine is in tatters and it never leaves my desk. I use it ALL the time.

    Now, I have to check out the One Look Reverse Dictionary! Don't we just love our tools?

  51. Barbara Scott! 35,000!! My eyes are bugging at that number. I need you to come work on my current wip for me. I didn't get anywhere near that far this month.

    What's your genre?

  52. Jeannie T.,

    Jury Duty. Yep, that could mess up your writing time but it could also generate some new ideas or characters!

  53. Linda, I'm working on a 1930s historical series. Just turned in book 1 a few weeks ago. My husband usually reads my "almost final" drafts before I send them in, and in that one he COMPLETELY missed that my heroine's eyes randomly changed from blue to brown to blue to brown . . .

    I may have to fire him!!!!

  54. Linda, thank you for the wonderful tips on editing.

    I was amazed at the difference in what you see when you print a hard copy. I've been doing that for some time.

    Met my goal for Speedbo. :-) And learned a lot, too. :-)

  55. Hi Linda! *waves* What tremendous editing tips--thank you! (And I totally agree about printing out our mss as we polish. Our eyes tend to naturally correct things on the screen and we miss typos that way.)

    I didn't do Speedbo, but I applaud everyone who did. :)

    Congratulations on The Memory House! I look forward to reading that one!

  56. Myra, 1930's is a period I know nothing and will be looking forward to reading it. Is it about the Depression?

    Don't fire the hubs. It's a miracle he reads your stuff! Mine just likes to open the pay checks. lol

  57. Mary Hicks,

    Yes, isn't it amazing how different a hard copy is? And yet, we still miss things. I'm so frustrated when my book is in print and I find an error.

    Ruthy would shame me. And then, she'd feed me something yummy.

    Time to make some peach tea. Wish I had fresh peaches. The last I bought were white! Not too peachy.

  58. Thank you, Cynthia. Remember when we met at ACFW? You made me feel like a rock star, only better!

  59. Linda, you totally ARE a rock star! (((HUGS)))

  60. Cynthia, now it's my turn to spew peach tea! That's truly funny but so wonderfully sweet.

    (Now, you go and ask forgiveness for telling stories.)


  61. There has NEVER been a Linda Goodnight book that I haven't fallen in love with. She has her very own bookcase in my home.

    Congratulations on The Memory House, Linda. I am confident that I will fall in love again!!

    Peach tea and banana muffin ready!

  62. Women's fiction from Linda Goodnight?! Yes, please! And ooh, the cover! Beautiful!

    Gushing aside, thank you for the tips. I love lists, and yours is clear and easy to follow. Printing this out for future reference.

  63. What a great article and congratulations on your HQN novel. Can't wait to read it.

  64. Cristel, you made it over here! Yay! So happy to see you here so we can get you entered for that drawing.

    Thank you for your kind, kind words. You're awesome.

  65. Meghan Carver,

    I'm so glad you liked the cover. When I first saw it I wasn't too sure what readers would think.

    Glad the list helped. That's the way I work too.

  66. Thank you, Krista Scott. I hope you like The Memory House. I'm pretty excited about it.

  67. Congrats to everyone who's had a successful Speedbo!

    Thanks for sharing your editing tips, Linda. Editing is actually my favorite part because, like you said, the story is already on the page; the hard work is done. :)

  68. Hi Jennifer, I like editing too! I call it making the book "pretty". It's the icing on the cake, so to speak.

  69. I'm in and out because we're busy at work today, but here's the FIRST THING I noticed about Linda's work and why it seemed different to me:

    Linda packs a long story into a short book package.

    This is no easy task. I don't know if it's instinctive, or if she's just that wicked smart, but when I sit down with a Goodnight LI, it intrinsically carries all the elements of a longer, deeper story in our more abbreviated time frame/page limit.

    That inspired me. If Linda could do it, then I was determined to try!

    The fact that she's just plain, down home good people was frosting on the cake.

  70. LOL--as long as hubby doesn't mind cooking, running errands, and doing laundry, I guess I'll keep him on the "payroll."

    Yes, my series is about the Depression and the Dust Bowl years in Arkansas.

  71. Does anyone else love, love, love the name Hiawassee, too? Remember Hassie, short for Tallahassie on The Real McCoys?

    I wanna be Southern.

    Or Texan.

    Until it gets too hot and then I'm heading north again. #whinybaby

  72. Ah shucks, Ruthy. Now, I'm going to have to send you flowers.

    Seriously, thank you for what you said about my Love Inspired books. I'm sure not wicked smart. If I was, this would be easier! But I do like to squeeze as much in as I can to give my readers as much value as I can for their hard-earned money. I think all of you all do that, too.

    Hugs and cyber chocolate, friend.

  73. Linda, we must be a mix, though. Anxious to please but tough.

    Because if we weren't, we'd be clutching towels, sobbing on the floor on occasion.

    But that only gives us stuff to talk about when we meet! :)

    Or maybe it's the "I'll show 'em" side.


    I definitely have one of those, and every now and then the tough side wants to smack the anxious-to-please side.

    Talk about internal struggle!

  74. Ooh Myra, that should be fascinating. I remember my Grandma talking about that time period, living in a tent, traveling to California to pick in the fields. Makes me feel so, so blessed to live today!

    I am not fond of dust or of working the hot sun. lol

  75. Congratulations on your release, Linda!

    Congratulations to all the Speedbo-ers who embarked on this journey!

    I love editing! Blank pages not so much.

  76. Hi Linda, love your advice. Believe it or not I listen to everything you say. I'm just not the best at applying it. :-)

    That is exactly how I pictured Eli! The Memory House is phenomenal and I highly recommend the book. I'm In total agreement with Ruthy about your writing. I love the emotional impact your books have.

    No need to include me in the drawing, I've got a copy.

    One question: are you writing a book two?

  77. Ruthy, I don't think I've ever heard Hiawassi, but I love those southern names too, so come on down. The weather is perfect today. Sunny, no wind, around 70 degrees. And the flowers are wildly glorious.

    I'll ship you back by FedEx when we hit the nasty heat wave. Or the tornadoes.

  78. Boy, I hear you, Kelli. I'm facing blank pages today while trying to play at Seekerville. I think the Seekers are winning!

  79. Ah Terri, no wonder I love you. Yes, I'm writing book two as we speak. Well, not literally because I'm at Seekerville, but the next book in the Honey Ridge Novels is THE RAIN SPARROW--if I can get these pesky characters to focus!

  80. Hi Linda
    I really love your editing tips.
    My Speedbo was a No-bo. Bare minimal words per week (missed a buncha, buncha days), although I can tell there's a lot percolating in my sub-conscious. The hope is to get what is in the grey matter onto the screen and I'm struggling to stick hands on keyboard consistently. I'm in the throes of an R&R that needs more of an overhaul than edit.

    I'm bummed by my lack of progress, although last year's Speedbo success tells me I can do this writing thing. Huge struggle to give myself permission to do it though because of hubby and my little guy needs.

    I love your books, so name in draw please. And thanks for the encouraging post. May your kick-off for your book go swimmingly.

  81. Hi Linda and welcome to Seekerville and thanks for helping us celebrate our last day. Congratulations on your release and accomplishments.

    I did not finish my novel, but I made more progress than anticipated as I had three projects going. I did finish two and my speedbo goal looks good in my book anyway. smile

    Thanks again for joining us. Have fun today.

    And yes, I'll take a glass of peach tea and a handful of Ruthy's cookies.

  82. It wasn't that long ago I told my editor at Bethany that, unless I said different, she should just ASSUME all my heroes looked like Henry Cavill!

  83. I have reached all my SPEEDBO goals. I started my new book about a week ago and I'm at nearly ten thousand words. HOWEVER I really had hoped to be farther.
    I always write 1000 words a day. 10,000 words in seven days isn't exactly huge!

    I wish I'd poured it on harder but I didn't. I'm feeling kinda like a failure.

    I think the solution might be a bag of Doritos. :(

  84. I am standing agape that Myra's husband is shopping, doing laundry and running errands.

    Then I might be throwing stones at Ol' Dave.

    #needsretraining #whatgives??? :)

  85. DebH, I love that term--NoBo.

    Sorry, though that you feel bummed out. Don't despair. Those little guys don't stay little long and then you have all the time you need to write. Maybe next year you can Speedbo all the way to TheEnd!

  86. Great post. Please enter me for your book. I have really enjoyed the speedbo experience. I lost about a week to the flu but plan to keep plugging away after speedbo is over. It has been really cool to communicate with some of my favorite authors.

  87. Yes, Mary Connealy, I couldn't agree more. When I don't know how to imagine someone's hero, he morphs into Henry Cavill. That man is a handsome rascal.

    Don't you dare feel like a failure. Girl, you write like a fiend, turning out all those big, wonderfully, funny books every year.

    Here, have some Doritos, some of Ruthy's cookies and a big old glass of peach tea. Guaranteed to pep you up.

  88. Hi Linda,
    So great to see you here today! I love your books!

    Thanks for the editing tips. I find editing a huge challenge and right now I'm trying to 'fix' an older book. It's almost tempting to write it over from scratch...

    I'd love to be in the draw for your 'big' book.


  89. P.S. Henry Cavill is the model for a great many of my heroes as well!

  90. Sandra, you're working on three projects at once? And you finished two of them? My mind went numb when I saw that. I stand in awe.

  91. Thank you, Linda, for your punchlist and recommendations on editing. I am in the neighborhood in Tennessee and would love to visit Miss Julie's home. Please enter my name in the drawing for the Memory House.
    Today was an important day for me. I entered the "Blurb to Book" book contest. It was the first submission for me and the achieving of a speedbo goal! Love you ladies and your generous spirits to see us novices through the month.

  92. How did Speedbo go? My goal was to "to finish my WIP. I have a couple of scenes at the end of the book that I'm working on now, which will leave the middle section I skipped over earlier to finish during March."

    I finished writing the scenes I'd skipped and moved on to typing in the parts I'd written in a notebook (before I wrote exclusively on the computer). But it is ALL FINISHED now. So I'd say Speedbo went GREAT! So this post is very timely for me as now I'm on to edits :)

    I'd love to win your book.

  93. Yay OLIVIA!
    glad you entered Blurb2Book.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how many Seeker villagers entered and how many get picked to move forward.

  94. Hi Linda, I enjoyed your post and love your books. Thanks for sharing with us.

    I think I was close enough to my speedbo goal to say I met It :) I've got a great start on a new book. Almost ready to start the editing process.

  95. Bettie, so sorry about the flu. Ugh!

  96. Susan, I know what you mean about wanting to start over sometimes. Editing and rewrites can be frustrating when things have played out the way I'd hope.

    Right now, I'm going back through my work in progress wondering if I should add more or take some out!

  97. Olivia! Squee! You entered the Blurb to Book contest. That's awesome, a terrific first step toward publication.

    Is this with Emily Rodmell?

    All the best with that.

  98. Becky, you made me dizzy with all that skipping around, but isn't it cool how differently we work? Congratulations on finishing.

    Now, go make it pretty!!

  99. Good for you, Janie! What's your genre? Do you have a target publisher?

    You Seeker villagers are pretty amazing.

  100. Is cowboy a genre? If so that's mine :) I entered the from blurb to book contest. I'd love to write for LIH.

  101. This comment has been removed by the author.

  102. I didn't make my Speedbo goal, but I am in the habit of writing everyday, and that is huge for me. I didn't have a weekend free this month, which took a lot of time from my writing time. I see myself going forward and continuing writing, so we'll see where it goes. I also entered the blurb2book contest.

  103. Great editing tips! I especially like the idea of printing it off and seeing it differently. I think even handling the pages puts one in a different editorial frame of mind. Congrats on the new book! And congrats to all Speedbo-ers who have made it this far! That is a huge accomplishment.

  104. Yes, Jamie, cowboy is sort of a genre, subgenre, I'd say. Sounds like you write historical cowboys. LOVE THEM! And they are so popular. I hope LIH snaps you up!

  105. Sally, writing every day is huge. I wrote an article for Publishing Crawl on how to finish the novel and that's one of my major tips. Write something because even a small goal will eventually result in a book.

    Good luck with Blurb2Book!

  106. Carolyn, congratulations on your new release too!

  107. Hi Linda!

    Your new book looks fabulous. I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

    Speedbo turned into speed-revisions for me, but I made a lot of progress on my WIP anyway, and turned in my revisions on time. I call that a win!

    And you're right - edits and revisions are so much easier! But if I didn't get the words on the page first, I wouldn't have anything to revise!

    Thanks for visiting Seekerville today!

  108. It's so great to get tips from one of the people who got me reading inspy in the first place. Thank you, Linda, for reminding us there is always room to grow when we are writing.

    I didn't meet my goal but I did enter Blurb to Book so I hopefully will continue writing after Speedbo.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    Peace and thanks, Julie

  109. Jan, hurray on getting those revisions done and turned in. That counts!

    I see your LIH has a Civil War veteran hero. THE MEMORY HOUSE has a Civil War hero, too, alongside the contemporary plot. Fascinating time.

  110. David Gandy is also a nice choice for heroes but he's a male model and I think he must have a great underwear client because David is not covered up enough many times. Just sort of a warning is you go look.

  111. Uh....we are talking about gorgeous men right? That's the topic, right?

    Or did I just see that picture of Henry Cavil and forget everything else Linda wrote.

    Sorry about that. :)

  112. Linda, congratulations on your launch of ...such a great title! Thank you for your editing advice....I'm actually excited about editing my SpeedBo project.

  113. Mary, Mary, Mary, David Gandy is very nice, even with his clothes on!! Thanks for the recommendation!

    Back to our regularly scheduled program.

  114. Hey Julie H.S., so nice to see you here. Good luck on that Blurb2Book!

  115. Sherida, you made laugh. That great title is THE MEMORY HOUSE! (I first wrote The Memory Hose. lol

  116. MMM MMM MMMMM! Rural TN sustenance. Wonder how far the B&B is because we are ALSO in rural TN! :) Great place for inspiration.

    Would love a chance to read your latest. Thank you for being in Seekerville today.

    I've almost met my goal, which was to write "the end" on my character's 4th book. Probably not going to make it, even though there's a few hours left today but I'm real close.

    Lots of editing to do (my FAVORITE part - really!) so that's my prize. I get to dive in and fix all this mish-mash that ended up on the page.

    Thank you for sharing your process too. I especially liked the part about head down praying instead of writing. Great reminder for Whom we work!

    Thanks again and all success to you!

  117. May the K9 Spy, I LOVE Tennessee and had to set some stories there. I visited southern middle TN, from Franklin to down around Tullahoma and onto North Alabama. Also went to Falls Mill which will play a role in the next book! That area is my model for the setting of THE MEMORY HOUSE.

    Will you finish the book this week? Success all the way around!

  118. Friends, here's a link to a "finish the book" article I wrote for Publishing Crawl, if you think you might find it helpful.



  119. Thanx for the editing tips Linda. I got in 30000 words on my novella this month now need to cut some! I didn't know HQN was publishing Wf now. would love to win a copy.good to know! and kudos to u for adopting the 2 girls from Ukraine. I went on a mission trip to a Ukrainian orphanage 3 years ago and fell in love with the kids! we all need to pray for Ukraine and it's wonderful people.

  120. Linda, YOU are my hero. I so enjoyed living in Oklahoma, and meeting you and Janet and the other Okie writers. This is a great post. You work pretty much like I do, marking up a hard copy. Revising and editing used to be fun to me but not so much any more. I think writing NF and shorter works has spoiled me. Can't wait to pick up a copy of The Memory House!

  121. Great points, Linda! And thanks for the picture of Henry Cavill!

  122. Hi Rose, 30K is an impressive number but oh, that cutting. Painful.

    Yes, HQN publishes a mix of long contemporary romance and women's fiction of all genres much like their Mira line does. I'm just pleased they're letting me write CLEAN stories without batting an eye.

    Please pray for Ukraine. We have acquaintances there that are in dire straits because of the Russian aggression. And kudos to you for going there on a mission's trip.

  123. Jess! Waving hi from Oklahoma. We sure miss you, lady. Come "home"!

  124. Cara Lynn, always happy to oblige with a photo of Henry Cavill. Makes the day go brighter. :)

  125. I can just imagine the fun the authors had this past month writing. I am a reader not a writer, even though I would love to be one. I am doing my cheering and encouraging for all the wonderful authors from my couch.I am drinking my peach tea with cookies and muffin. They are delicious. Thank you !

  126. This was addicting! I mean, the more I spent time writing toward my daily goal, the more I want it to never end. Will I be able to keep the pace without SpeedBo egging me on? I sure intend to keep it up. Please enter my name in your drawing for "The Memory House." Thank you!

  127. Wishing you all to reach your Speedbo goal :)
    drop me into the dish please :)

  128. Hi Linda! Sorry, I'm so late getting to the party. I had physical therapy after work today, so I'm just now sitting down to comment.

    I always appreciate any tips on editing and making my manuscript stronger. Thank you for taking time to write this post.

    My goal for Speedbo was to complete a first draft. I didn't even get close to my goal, mainly because shoulder surgery has been a harder recovery than I imagined. Although I'm sad I didn't meet my goal, I'm not discouraged, because during Speedbo, I submitted my entry for the Love Inspired Blurb to Book pitch contest. And I've hammered out a rough draft for my first three chapters and synopsis. So when it's all said and done, I'm making forward progress, and that's what it's all about!

  129. Deanne, readers are my favorite people in the universe! Enjoy that peach tea, cookies and muffins, and thank you so much for hanging out with us crazy authors!

  130. Good for you, Kathy! With that kind of energy, I think you can keep going and going even without Speedbo.

  131. Rhonda, you're right. You're making progress and it sounds like you did a lot!

    So sorry about the shoulder surgery. Take care!

  132. Linda, Thank you for the editing tips. I'm going to print them out for my next pass.

    During Speedbo, I got a little further in my revisions than I thought I would. Today I was in the orthodontist's office waiting for my son to get his braces (second round) on while editing my last chapter. I'm almost at the epilogue. I've also taken a craft class this month and learned a lot from it in hopes of starting my first draft of my next WIP by mid-April.

    Thanks to all the writers who posted such great advice this month.

  133. Linda, I would love to be entered into the drawing for your book. It looks good.

    I have completed Speedbo and reached my goal of 1000 words a day. I wrote more than 31,000 words. There were only 3 days that I did not meet my goal and had to catch up on another day. I learned a lot. It wasn't easy for me because I didn't always have my story figured out and my first draft is very amateurish sounding. I will have a lot of work left to do, but I am eager to continue.

  134. Julie, thanks for posting the link to the one look reverse dictionary. I have bookmarked it so I can use it when I need it.

  135. You're welcome, Tanya. It sounds like you a very successful month if you're almost at the epilogue and already planning for the next book. Impressive!

    Othodontists--so glad I'm past that stage with my kids! And good for you for using that time to edit! Smart lady.

  136. Sandy, my first drafts sound awful. If anyone ever read them, they'd wonder how I ever sold so many books. So, it's not just you. Pushing through the way you did all month is step one--and the hard part! Good for you.

  137. I'm ready for my peach tea to celebrate making my Speedbo goal.

    Congrats to everybody who reached their goal, and thanks to the Seekers for hosting #Speedbo.

    Have a great rest of your evening!

  138. Jackie, you did it!! Take this big glass of Peach Tea, put your feet up and just smile a while. Oh, and have some Ruthy cookies. She's very generous. They taste incredible and don't have any calories!

  139. Peach tea - - YES Please!! ;) (this Georgia girl loves anything peach!).
    Being a huge Linda Goodnight fan I wanted to stop by even though it's late in the day. Great post, Linda, and no need to enter me in the drawing - - I am purchasing your book. :)
    I will never forget how very kind you were when we met at ACFW a few years ago (Dallas? St. Louis?) in the ladies restroom, of all places, LOL.
    I am thrilled to say I reached my personal Speedbo goal!! So very thankful the Seekers sponsor this each March.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  140. Linda, I'm so excited for you new adventure! Good luck with the new book! It looks great! Having read many of your books, Im sure it will be fantastic!

  141. Patti Jo! I'm so glad you stopped in. I have fond memories of that meeting in the ladies room. lol Are you going to ACFW this year? Maybe we'll meet up in a new ladies room!

    Congratulations on making your Speedbo goal. Now, that is awesome! Speedbo is a good, good motivator.

  142. Thank you, Valri. And thank you for always being so supportive. I really appreciate you!

  143. Goodnight, Goodnight
    Speed...bo is o...ver
    it's time they say
    to type 'the end'.
    Let's call it a month
    the party's over
    and tomorrow starts
    the writing once again.

    Such a happy happy party
    never seen so many writers
    Reading thinking
    Look at you you're having fun
    But look at me
    I'm almost freezin'
    it's too late for me cause the party's over.

    Once I was in the groove
    I didn't keep it but I tried
    you can plot all you want to
    but you got to write it to survive.


    Oh well. Congrats to all the finalists!

    Thanks and Goodnight, Linda. : )


  144. Peach tea sounds marvellous right now! Thank you! And thanks, too, for your excellent editing information. I won't be putting it into practice quite yet since I haven't finished my Speedbo writing, but I'm going to print out this column for when I do.

    I accomplished much more during March than I would have without the extra Speedbo focus, or without all the encouragement from our wonderful Seekerville peeps. I'm committed to carrying on. In fact, I'll snitch one of those great muffins and get back to work right now since I still have almost two more hours until midnight. (I'm on the west coast.)

  145. My goal was 2,000 words a day. That's 62,000 words for the month. I reached 60,874. I consider this an awesome success. Life interruptions did not keep me too far from my goal. I found writing scenes as I felt the inspiration kept me more focused that going chapter by chapter. My goal is to keep up the pace of more words daily. Probably fewer because I'll be in editing mode for awhile. But I want to make daily word goals a true part of my every day life. Cindy Huff

  146. Vince, I've never had a Goodnight poem written for me before! What a terrific sign off. Thank you!

    Carol, thanks for taking a break from the writing to say hello. Anyone who still has brain enough to write at midnight has my deep admiration!

    Cindy, if there is a prize, surely you'll win! Wow, that's a ton of words. Good for you! Just wow. Can I say I'm impressed?

  147. One last post to say how much I enjoyed hanging out with this enthusiastic group of writers and the lovely readers who put up with us. Special thanks to Ruth for inviting me over. I do believe THE MEMORY HOUSE had a nice welcome to the world.

    Wishing you all a happy and blessed Easter,
    Linda Goodnight

  148. Thanks for the editing tips, Linda! I was able to hit my Speedbo goal, but some days were better than others. I went through a slump about halfway through where I couldn't figure out how to make that part of the story work. The writing slowed WAY down. But I got through it.

  149. Thanks for the editing tips, Linda! I was able to hit my Speedbo goal, but some days were better than others. I went through a slump about halfway through where I couldn't figure out how to make that part of the story work. The writing slowed WAY down. But I got through it.

  150. LINDA SAID: "Julie, peach oatmeal! I need that recipe for Peach Orchard Inn. Miss Julia, my heroine, is always cooking up something peachy."

    Okay, now I'm embarrassed because it's Quaker, not homemade, and yes, I realize all that artificial stuff in it is not good, but it's sooooo darn easy and sooooo darn good that I can't help myself. Actually tried making my own steel-cut oatmeal with real apples and cinnamon and didn't like it, so that was a bummer. But MAYBE I can try adding peaches ...!! LOVE peaches!!

    And, Linda -- and Sandy Smith -- I dare you NOT to love that link. I promise you will thank me. :)


  151. Linda, I was editing someone's manuscript all afternoon, so didn't get a chance to hop back on to Seekerville yesterday. I'm writing a historical romance set in 1875 Montana. Instead of doing all the research up front like I normally do, I'm researching as I go along. Plus it doesn't hurt to have a best friend who grew up in my setting--Deer Lodge, MT.

  152. Good for you, Amber, for persevering. We all hit those slumps.

  153. Julie, I am already loving on that link. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  154. Barbara, that sounds like a book I would want to read. 1875 and in Montana? Love that. I once read a series of archived letters.. Wish I could remember where to find them... From a woman who moved to the wilds of Montana and built her own house and pioneered there with very little help from anyone else. She eventually married a Scot who was quite amusing. The letters were fascinating.

    I love research even when it doesn't apply to my books. LOL

  155. I'm nearing the end of a novel, and have copied your editing steps to use in a few weeks. Thank you so much. I needed this. Now if I could just figure out how to read my own novel for the first time!

  156. I am posting a day late...does that tell you how hectic my month has been? Between starting a new business March 1, report cards due and a spring break (usually great for writing, but this spring break my husband took off and we traveled a lot) I felt like I had NO time for writing. I did manage to write a little bit almost every day, if even it was 50 words here and there. My goal for the month was only 2000 (because I knew it was going to be crazy) and I got to 3300. Now that I'm back into a schedule, I'm hoping to be much better from here on out. :)
    Thanks for the great post. I've loved reading all the encouraging posts.

  157. LeAnne, being a former teacher myself, I salute you for writing anything! Breaks from school used to be my major writing time too. Way to go to beat your goal AND get everything else done.