Nitty Gritty

It seems everything is a blessing and a curse. I am eternally grateful to Tim for going over every chapter, word by word, for my final edit. He is very good at pointing out places that need clarification and punctuation. But, you knew there was a but in there, didn’t you? He never read Kurt Vonegut’s quote from Man Without a Country

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

Kurt Vonegut

We continued our task at nine o’clock this morning, going over chapters fourteen and fifteen. We’ve reached the half-way point now. I listened to him a little differently today because this past weekend I attended the Florida Writers Association’s annual conference. The closing panel discussion included agents and publishers. “Don’t edit your voice out of it,” they said.

After months, and maybe years–time has become a blur–of hearing how important editing is, I was taken aback some with that comment. Writing and painting have more parallels than I realized. When a painting is overworked it loses its freshness, so too with writing. Knowing when to stop is an essential part of the puzzle.

When Tim says, “That’s not how I would have said that,” I know to say leave it. Other times it’s less clear. It will be interesting to get input from my editor when we reach that step.

In the meantime I have played around with some cover designs. All opinions are welcome.

Hands included
Without hands

If you don’t like either cover, please let me know that too. Of course, I may have no say in what the cover looks like depending on where this goes, but it’s fun to play with it. In re-thinking the title, my friend Laura suggested leaving off “waters.” I like that idea. Again, I may not have a say in that either.

Thanks for playing. Maybe by next month it will be in my editors hands and I’ll be on to my next book–yes, I do have another book in my head.

28 thoughts on “Nitty Gritty

  1. Ann Carnaby

    Hands are too specific – not the same style, don’t lead anywhere, distract & clutters
    Like the other much more, but background still a bit cluttered – doesn’t leave any room for the un in uncharted

  2. Barbara R Lizotte

    I also favor the title Unchartered and the photo without hands. The other just feels a little too cluttered.

  3. Mary Anne McDonald

    I like Uncharted, sans hands. I would line to see Tigger on the walkway, heading out to sea. MA xo

  4. carol

    Interesting to read your process.
    I agree the sec d is better and it still feels too busy on the top. And, I wonder how it would feel if you lengthened the dock to really draw the viewer in and emphasize the feeling of groundlessness.

  5. Melissa Rigas

    Hey Babs – I also like the second one as it allows the imagination to wander with both the one word & the pix. Huzzah for going forward & onward! Love you ❤️!

  6. marymarthaemerson

    Ah, dang, everyone beat me to the punch! I’m in total agreement with the “Less is More” concept, and might also removed the compass and protractor (if that’s what they are) at the top. It’s hard to identify what they are and the rainbow might be more visible. Overall, I think it looks great though. Impressive!

  7. Linda H

    Hi Barb – love your writing style! I like your 2nd one best. Simple title, lots to the imagination. I did find the cover a bit too busy imo…anything under the title maybe go a bit simpler? Bluer? Make it pop! But like it no matter which way you go. Wish you the best.

  8. Francis P. Grady Jr

    The uncharted waters appear a bit cluttered with the boats. Perhaps open ocean would be be more challenging. Congratulations on both the concept and the near completion of an amazing adventure.
    Kathy and Pat

  9. Shelley Parish

    Hi Barbara,
    I’m in agreement with everyone else, the 2nd option. Though I would like to see less map and more of the water, dock view – draw the eye into the scene – especially with your title. I would match the amount of map you see on the top now on the bottom, with all that beautiful water & dock in the middle.
    I’m going back & forth on adding ‘Waters’, I really like both options for the title.
    Best of luck, it’s very exciting!!

  10. Carol Tatarinowicz

    Hi Barbara;
    I like Uncharted with no hands. It’s simple and the nautical chart tells the reader there will be “waters”.

  11. Marian

    I like the cover without the hands, though it was also a journey for you both. The title “Uncharted” is great too.


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