Progress Update

Thought I’d share a quick update as to how my quest to get a book on your e-reader is going.

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Pro Writing Aid

I bought Pro Writing Aid to do a final polish on what I thought was a tidy manuscript. I figured it would take a few hours to go through and make any changes. Okay, stop laughing.

Yes, I have lots of red errors of doom.

Yeah, lotta red.

I’m working through them, though after a few chapters, I’m learning I don’t always agree with all of their marks. For example, it tells me the word desire is “corporate”. But I’m a romance author, and this word is common in the genre.

I’m picking which reports work best for me and working through their recommendations, but this has already taken longer than a few hours.

More Edits

As I’m re-reading everything, I’m making changes. I know, but I can’t help myself. As I work on the technical side of my writing, I also find myself rewriting descriptions to make things flow better, revamping dialogue and the like.

I’ve been working on this novel for two years, and I can still find things to change. I’m starting to worry it’ll never be done.

Starting to feel like this is me.

Cover Artist

I do not have talent with drawing or photo-manipulation, and I know we all judge a book by its cover. So back in August, I reserved a spot with a cover artist I really like for late 2017 or early 2018. She recently said she could start working on mine in February, so I’m hoping her schedule sticks.

My goal is to work with the same artist for all of the books I’m writing so my covers have a consistent look. As you can see from my works in progress, I have a few coming.

If this cover goes well, I’m hoping to use her again.


Given everything that Pro Writing Aid has unearthed about my writing, I am seriously considering an editor. I have learned the lesson about compound sentences needing a comma, and that shows in Pro Writing Aid, but I’m still not sure what a hidden verb is.

While I don’t think the book will ever earn back what I pay for an editor, the expense may still be worth it if I learn something from the process that I can apply to future novels. This means finding a solid editor that doesn’t mind romance writing, and who’ll take the work even at mac and cheese prices. So if you know of any, please let me know!

New Story

After having a discussion with my writing group, I decided to start a new work amidst all of these revisions so I don’t lose the ability (and desire) to create something new. Rewriting is important, but so is creating.

 My goal is still to release To Love a Prince by the end of June 2018. Yes, I’m putting that out there. I’d like to have the next book ready by January 2019, but that’s still in the early stages of revision. Chronologically, it comes after To Love a Prince, but I wrote three other books before that one. I have some catching up to do if I’m going to be ready by then!

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12 thoughts on “Progress Update

  1. I checked out ProWritingAid because it seemed like it would be easier to get documents i there from Scrivener than it is to Grammarly. I found its critiques pretty annoying.

    I’m impressed with your progress. Good going.

    1. I’m actually glad to hear you say that. There are some pretty pedantic points, many of which I don’t agree with as a fiction writer.

      It has its uses, but it’s not as amazing as I’d hoped.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    It sounds like you are making great progress – well done!

    I thought I would share a bit of info about hidden verbs in case it’s helpful. Like any of ProWritingAid’s suggestions, please don’t feel like it is a cast-iron rule that you can never use a hidden verb. You just need to stop and think for a moment whenever you find a hidden verb and see if it would improve the sentence to replace it with a stronger verb.

    Very best of luck to you,

    Lisa Lepki
    Editor of the ProWritingAid Blog.

    Hidden Verbs

    Verbs are the engine of our writing. They excite, engage and thrust it forward. Many novice writers end up accidentally hiding their verbs. This process (called nominalization) turns verbs into nouns and adds a weak verb in their place. For example:

    – We will make an announcement of the winner on Friday.
    – We will announce the winner on Friday.

    The first sentence uses a weak verb (make) and hides a strong verb (announce) as a noun (announcement). The second sentence is shorter, clearer and stronger.

    Hidden verbs are particularly common in business writing when writers are trying to use an “official” voice:

    analyzed ➡ undertook an analysis
    discussed ➡ held a discussion
    decided ➡ made a decision
    reviewed ➡ carried out a review
    explained ➡ gave an explanation

    Highlight all your hidden verbs and reveal those strong verbs in all their glory.

  3. I LOVE your writing! I can do edits for you at ‘mates rates’ if you haven’t found anyone yet, or point you at three or four other options. Let me know if you still need someone 🙂 x

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