Posts tagged ‘historical.’

How to Edit – Guest post – Editing for Historical Romance by Aarti V. Raman

Writing anything, even an email, requires editing. Typos, unclear sentence formation, jumbled homophones…the pitfalls are innumerable. In fiction writing, it is often hard to decide when enough editing is done. Too little and you haven’t tightened enough. Too much and your writing ‘voice’ is lost. So how to edit the right way? Today I have newbie historical romance author Aarti V. Raman here, talking about her editing process. She has some awesome ideas about how to go over your work with a fine tooth comb.

Take it away, Aarti! 🙂

Winston Churchill, in his missives to his Chiefs of Staff, at the height of World War II, would only write two words: Action, Today! In my humble opinion, he is the best example of an editor: succinct, precise and visual.

I am in the process of editing my MS “Lucas: Book One of The Lords Of Devil Manor”, coming out with Knox Robinson Publishing (June, 2014) and it is, surprisingly a fun but uphill task. For one, it’s about 10000+ words in length. For another, typos are the bane of my life and I am diligently hunting down every one of those little suckers and eradicating them from existence. Like I said, fun and uphill.

I have no meticulous process that I follow, while making structural or line-edits (I am doing both now). But I do try and keep a few things in mind, anyway. A few key pointers, if you will.

  1.       Language: In HR (Historical Romance, to the uninitiated) LANGUAGE is everything. Common slang that we take for granted today, did not exist then. While writing and editing HR, it is imperative to remember this rule, which can only be followed, if you READ a lot of HR because otherwise your language takes a lot of hits and the work becomes sub-par. You do not want that. So, for instance, “maybe” becomes “perhaps” and not necessarily “perchance”, which would be correct English. “Butt” will ALWAYS be “Arse”. And there is no such word as s#@t.
  2.       Continuity: This rule also pertains to language, and can be applied to every MS you write. STICK to one default language. If you are writing UK English, stick to it. “Neighbour”, “candour” etc. If you are following US English, like I do, don’t veer. “Color, hasn’t, and ain’t” are allowed. Readers are critics. They will spot these snafus faster than you can say ‘Chicago Style Guide for Editing!’
  3.       Rewrite: Now this is an extremely sensitive and subjective matter. I like what I write. That is why it is written in the first place. Also, I, thankfully, have a very clear sense of place, time, pace, plot and character before I begin the draft. Unless absolutely required (and usually at the publisher’s behest) I do not rewrite. But, that being said, when it comes to publishable MS like “LUCAS” I double-triple-quadruple check to make sure nothing more or LESS can be done. That each scene is exactly where it belongs, so the story is given the absolute, perfect presentation it deserves.
  4.       Adjective/Adverbs: By the time, the book is accepted by a publisher, all the little flourishes of ‘Lucas said softly’ and ‘Annabeth exclaimed loudly’ should have been weeded out. Post-haste. But, if they aren’t, that’s what line-edits are for. Remove every extraneous word (especially adjectives and adverbs) and tighten your story. (Plus, this keeps it under word count too!)


These are just a few basic things I am trying to implement to really shine “LUCAS: Book One of The Lords Of Devil Manor.” And I will continue to find newer ways to make it work, so that you, the reader has the most enjoyable experience with it. That is what good editing does to a MS. Elevates a good book to a great one. I hope, my little pointers will be of some help to you.

Do wish me luck too.

Thank you Ruchi for having me at your spot, and till next time,


Aarti V Raman aka Writer Gal

Hope you liked this post. Do you have any tips to add? Leave them in comments below. We can all learn from each other’s knife wielding! 😉

Writing process blog tour: My Writing Process – Ruchi Vasudeva

Hi everyone! Today is Blog Tour Day. This blog tour is where writers answer questions about their writing process (or in other words – head banging 😉 at least for me!)

YA author and dear friend Sheritha Singh posted about her writing last week. You can check out her writing process here.

Here’ s how I eke out the words on my keyboard and what’s going on in my writing these days. Cue here a picture of a big ponderous tortoise to get an idea of my speed 😉

What am I working on?

Right now, I’m writing a story about college lovers who separated due to their different life choices and now are finding their way back to each other again. They have to work past their differences which are quite a truckload.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s a romance, a contemporary one. It is different for me in the way these characters are opening up to each other, layer by layer – excuse the metaphor 😉 The romance is going to test the emotional limits of these two especially the hero. He has avoided facing what he grew up with and if he wants things to work with her, he’s going to face some tough choices. The question is, can he do what it will take to win her back?


Why do I write what I do?

Honestly I don’t know, that’s the way ideas begin to unroll for me. I see the beginning of the characters in people and situations in the world around me and the trails people are facing, then a combination of different ideas makes the story roll. Sometimes it’s an uphill struggle, like this story. I just had to write one short scene in a park and somehow it took me two days to get it done because I couldn’t find the point of that scene, though I knew it had to be there to get from point B to C. I like to read romantic stories so maybe that’s why I write them. Having grown up on a diet of harlequin and also historicals and the classics, my stories do tend to be a mixture of escapism combined with groundedness. Or so I’m told 🙂

How does your writing process work?
I wish there was a process! For me writing rarely happens in the way of smoothly churning out words. It’s more like sketching, shading, shaping and filling in colours, adding hues and then putting the tiny signature at the corner. I get down the basic idea and work on it over and over to smooth out the unreasoning parts. Thankfully, I have now cut down on jumping ahead and writing the future scenes first. Because that used to really make me rewrite a lot. Now I just keep doing the touch ups till the editor pronounces it done.

Thanks for reading about me. Next week catch the writing process of these authors:

Adite Banerjie — Adite is a screenwriter based in New Delhi, India. She turned romance author when her first Harlequin romance, The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal, released in 2013. Her second book, Trouble Has a New Name, comes out in July 2014. She loves to travel, watch movies and play with her Irish Setter when she’s not stuck to her computer struggling with her current WIP.

Reet Singh — Reet, a medical professional, has a romantic soul. Most of it is probably inherited from parents who have loved each other dearly forever, but a lot is attributable to the romantic fiction she devours by the kilo. When she’s not doctoring people, and when she is not writing, she watches romcoms on the telly, does creative things with wool and a crochet hook, struggles with the daily crossword or with online Scrabble. Occasionally, she can be found in the kitchen putting together her ‘world-famous’ one-pot meals – world famous because family scattered all across the face of the earth has, at one point or the other in their lives, encountered a meal that they couldn’t guess the constituents of, but found finger-licking good nevertheless. Married for three decades, her prototypical tall, handsome, and sensitive alpha-husband still makes her heart skip a beat. Writing about love and happy endings feeds her romantic soul and brings to a full circle her love affair with Mills and Boon®, from reading them ardently to writing them. Reet’s website is http://reetsingh.in. Write to her at reetsingh.author@gmail.com; tweet to her at @AuthorReet.

Aarti V Raman — Aarti lives in Mumbai, India and has a degree in mass media from Mumbai University. She has always dreamed of being either a writer or a lawyer and decided to pursue a writing career from a very early stage.
Aarti has already published a romantic thriller under the name Aarti V and has more works coming out in 2014 with Harlequin and Knox Robinson. Her childhood dream of writing romance (contemporary and historical) has finally come true and she hopes to continue this fantastic journey with many more love stories and fascinating characters. Aarti loves to watch movies, TV series and read other romances and travel to different places in order to find a new hero and a new story. She loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her at www.facebook.com/aarti.v.raman or her blog at www.williaminashakespearewrites.blogspot.in or on Twitter @Rt_writes

Do let me know how you found the idea of the blog tour and this post. Bye for now!

Review : The Treasure of Kafur by Aroon Raman

A tale of flight and chase is always interesting and The Treasure of Kafur capitalises on the fact. This book is a mixture of fantasy and historical which is spot on. Though I didn’t expect the fantasy element in this tale of the Mughal period and thought it a little unbelievable at first, soon I found it woven into the historical thread.

I don’t usually read fantasy so I found it surprising that I enjoyed it and that speaks much for the book. I got into the story early on because there wasn’t much time to dwell as the story unfolded at a good pace.

Adventure, chase, mayhem, plans, surprises, everything has been worked in skilfully. I admit I was askance about use of actual historical figures in a fictional world but that is only a little hampering. I wished imaginary figures were used but I guess the tension couldn’t have been built that strongly and anyway it wasn’t hard to overlook.

I do wonder if a sequel is in the offing. The characters are engaging enough for one if the author plans it.

All in all I enjoyed reading this and definitely recommend it.

I give it five stars for readabiilty, four for concept, five for the world building without which this story wouldn’t have been what it is.

Read it if you’re in the mood for a fast paced adventure story.

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