Mechanical Editing

Do you know what “mechanical editing” is? First I should explain that I was a terrible English student in high school and college. I was impatient and the mechanics of English were of no interest to me. It was dull trying to diagram sentences when I could be day dreaming about sailing around the world or flying airplanes. But I knew I could write even at that age. I knew I could evoke emotions out of strangers with words and I have always had an undying love of “words.” Words DO mean something and a competent author can manipulate them to draw the reader into the story – make them feel they are right there with the characters.

So I daydreamed through my English classes drifting along with a “D” but being the shrewd budding “author” I knew I would someday be I had an ace up my sleeve. Inevitably the LAST assignment would be to write a short story. While my classmates struggled with this chore, it was a piece of cake for me. My story always won me an A+ which brought me D up to a C+ and I passed.

But you know what? I should have paid more attention in class. So while I can write fiction that is somewhat compelling I don’t always have my subject and verb agree. And I don’t always maintain the same tense within a sentence especially if I write in third person. So that is why a GOOD editor is imperative for me.

I’ve had published work now long out of print but only last year did I discover ePublishing which will eventually put all except specialty brick and mortar book stores out of business. So I brought out a novel that had been revised over the years (while hoping that Castro wouldn’t die in the meantime) and published it on Amazon as “Tropical Knights.” It had typos and my usual aversion to subjects and verbs – but the readers didn’t seem to mind and it received good reviews. I have since “cleaned” it up so that a third edition is now available on Amazon for Kindles and on Barnes & Noble for Nooks.

I was encouraged when many people asked for more of the same (they seemed attached to the characters) so I decided to write a sequel and spent about nine months on that. But this time I had enough sense to give the final manuscript to a fine editor whom I had worked with on a magazine. And she is a perfectionist. The sequel, and the second in what I have decided will be a series, is called “Tropical Daze” (a little play on words there, neighbors) is now undergoing a thorough “mechanical editing” and that takes time. But when this one comes out in the fall it will be as good as it can be. Could I have skipped this process? Sure, and it could be out there now with all its flaws, but I am more patient now than when I was young – so I will wait until I can give you the best that I can. You deserve that from any author, and I need to be able to sleep at night knowing my editor and I have done our job.  Thanks for your patience.

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About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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