poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘draft

A muse takes over – final edits

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This week I am working towards final publication of my first sci-fi novel on CreateSpace – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn.

I have incorporated the comments of my editor ( Lee Thompson Editing + ) into my final draft.

I have sent my beta-version to my six beta-readers and will make a few edits based on their comments.


A glimpse of the book in final editing. The blue paper was a gift from my husband who thought he was buying white paper! The yellow tabs are just a few last minute changes. The white frame is my way of seeing how the book will look on the final page size!


At the last minute I decided my font was too small and switched from Garamond 12 to Garamond 14. It took a while to get all those drawings back to the left hand page!

Now, I have printed out a final version to have one last view before I load the cover, text and other information into CreateSpace.

A comment about independent versus traditional publishing:

I realize how patient the publisher was with all the edits for my poetry book within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2017).

I also realize that my publisher made the final call and ‘pushed the button ‘ regarding the final, final, final draft. Left to my own, I realize I am a bit nervous about this last step and find myself procrastinating, just a little.

To that end, I spent all morning, not working on Meniscus:Crossing The Churn, but on the early draft of the fifth book in the series!


Copyright 2017 Jane Tims


Written by jane tims

February 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

writing a novel – searching out the symbols

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When I wrote ‘Open to the Skies’, I used various ways to examine and tighten the plot.  One of these was to list the various objects in the book and consider them as symbols.


For my book ‘Crossing at a Walk’, I will use this process to help my eventual readers understand the progress of the story.

Mentioned once, an object, such as a candle, is just a candle.  Mentioned twice, it becomes a symbol, and the reader remembers the first mention of the object and draws understanding from the symbolism.    So a candle may be remembered for its light.  If, in a subsequent mention, someone blows out the candle, this may make a comment on the idea of communication. Passing a candle from person to person suggests the passing of stories between people.  The use of symbols deepens meanings and helps the plot reverberate throughout the writing.




Symbols operate like mini sub-plots throughout the story.  These mini-plots echo the main plot, and the objects change in a way that illuminates the main plot.  The mini-plots also tend to occur in three ‘beats’, providing a beginning, middle and end.  For example, an unlit candle becomes a useful source of light and is passed between people at a wake.


In this round of edits, I have tried to examine the use of symbols in my novel.  To do this, I built a list of the objects I have used as symbols.  Then I looked for their occurrence in the novel to see if I could identify three ‘beats’ and a mini sub-plot.  In some cases, I identified gaps – fixing these has helped me to solidify my overall plot.


This is a short version of my list of some of the objects/symbols in my book.  When I assembled the list, the items in red were missing and I had to fill out the story accordingly.  Perhaps you can use this method to help strengthen the narrative in your own fiction.


Object Symbol Occurrence   (page numbers) Mini-plot
coyote fear 87 104 120 coyotes howl in woods; they rattle some of the retreaters; Sadie considers it a failing of the retreat
church tower refuge 15 104 181 tower is off-limits to retreaters; becomes a place to sleep in safety; a place to write a poem
paper maché ball and chain servitude 39 58 180 Sadie is asked to provide a community service placement for Minnie, a trouble-maker; Minnie stores the ball and chain, a theatrical prop, on a library shelf during her stay; when the time is up, she destroys the ball and chain
rain a barrier 6 133 186 rain interferes with the retreat at every turn and ends up being the source of the flood that threatens the covered bridge
scale model of a covered bridge remembering 35 132 150 a scale model of the covered bridge is purchased at an auction; helps tell the story of a character in the novel; could become the only memento of the bridge
burning candles passing stories from person to person 58 140 188 candles are not allowed in the old church but later become a practical source of light during a storm and a way of passing stories about the covered bridge from person to person
loon communication 21 169 182 loon calls at retreat encourage people to talk to one another
stars, shooting stars hope 12 109 185 stars become inspiration for an artist, encouragement for a love-interest, and an inspirational setting for a wake


'a comet'


Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

April 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

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