Friday, October 24, 2008

Using Track Changes

Set the Track Changes Preferences
Step1 ~ Open the document in which you want to track changes.
Step2 ~ Go to the Tools menu.
Step3 ~ Select Preferences.
Step4 ~ Click on the Track Changes tab.
Step5 ~ Go to the Inserted Text section and use the drop-down menu to select the mark you want to use to track
Step6 ~ Use the drop-down menu to select the color you want to use to track changes in the Color Used section.
Step7 ~ Use the drop-down menu to select the mark and color you want to use to track deleted text.
Step8 ~ Use the drop-down menu to select the changed formatting (bold, italic, underline, double underline) and color you
want to use to track format changes.
Step9 ~ Use the drop-down menu to select the changed lines (left border, right border, outside border) you want to use.
Turn on Tracked Changes
Step1 ~ Open the Tools menu and choose Track Changes, then Highlight Changes.
Step2 ~ Select the box marked "Track changes while editing."
Step3 ~ Click OK. Your subsequent changes to the document will be marked with the colors and styles you selected above.

Highlighting Words

Do you use the word ‘was’ a lot? Or how about the dreadful ‘it’? Don’t know? Do a search and find out.
First, lets add the highlighting icon to your tool bar.
1. Go to Tools>Customize
2. Under the Commands tab, under Categories choose Format and under Commands find Highlight
3. Now drag the icon out of this dialogue box and onto your tool bar.
[Space below menu words]
4. Do a Find [control+F] or go to Edit>Find.
5. In the Find what: field, type the word you are searching for.
6. Checkmark ‘Highlight all items found in’
7. Click Find All
8. Go to your highlight option, now located on your toolbar and choose a color.
Now you can easily scroll through your manuscript to see if you are overusing certain words.

Query Letter instructions:

Prepare a Synopsis and Query Letter
Write a one-page synopsis of your book. This should sound a little like what you read on the jacket cover of a book, summarizing the plot. Then write a QUERY letter to accompany the synopsis. The letter should include:
 a brief paragraph about the book, saying that it’s fiction or nonfiction and giving a one or two sentence description
 a paragraph saying who you think the audience for the book will be
 a paragraph or two about you, that is, a short bio, including any writing you’ve published and anything that makes you an expert on the subject
 a paragraph telling the agent just what you have to show, e.g., a completed manuscript, three chapters and an outline, or a proposal

Dedication Pages for Books

Dedication Pages for ms’s:
Rebecca Savage

1. Fueled By Instinct

Lori & Cindy, for getting me hooked on romance novels
Marilyn, for peer-editing this ms

2. Cloaked In Assassination

G, Steph, Nic, & Carissa
Ally, my brilliant editor

3. Destination Ever After

*Acknowledgements Page*

Dedication Pages for ms’s:
Champagne Books
Rebecca Savage

4. Coincidence

For all my uncles and aunts
Special thanks to
Ralph and Nancy
Joyce and Dorman

5. Combustion

For all my cousins
Special thanks to
Sherri, Diane, Amy, Vicki, Kathy, Dennis, Darryl
Extra special thanks to
Bill and Karen
& Robert and Rosemary

6. Consequences

For my family because Family Matters!
Special thanks to my brother, sisters, nephews, nieces, Mom & Dad
& Grandma
And especially to my Critique Partners

What A Kiss Means...and other gestures

+kiss on the stomach = I’m ready
+Kiss on the Forehead ="I hope we're together forever"
+Kiss on the Ear = Your my everything
+Kiss on the Cheek = "We're friends"
+Kiss on the Hand = "I adore you"
+Kiss on the Neck = "we belong together"
+Kiss on the Shoulder = "I want you"
+Kiss on the Lips = I like you"

What the gesture means...
+Holding Hands = "we definitely like each other"
+Slap on the Butt = "That's mine"
+Holding on tight = "I don't want to let go"
+Looking into each other's Eyes = "I just plain like you"
+Playing with Hair = "Tell me you love me"
+Arms around the Waist = "I like you too much to let go"
+Laughing while Kissing = "I am completely comfortable with you"

+ Don’t ask for a kiss, take one.
+If you were thinking about someone while reading this
you're definitely in Love.

Writing Tips: Italicizing

Okay here goes. You probably want to print this out.
In Word 2003, open your document.
Do a file Save As to make a copy of the document just in case.
Select Edit, Replace
Put your cursor in the Find what: drop down box
Go to the bottom of the options box and select Format, Font
About half-way down the Font selection box, select Underline and the first
line-style in the drop-down box
Then select Okay
Now you are back in the Find and Replace option box
Put your cursor in the Replace with: drop down
Go to the bottom of the options box and select Format, Font again
Select italic in the font style box and then go to the Underline style and
select None from the drop-down box
Then select Okay
(Almost there!)
Now you can select Replace all and Voila! All underlines are now italics."

Kevin Dickson: American Hero and My Son's Friend: Killed in Iraq

Kevin Dickson: A Family Friend and Former Student Turned American Hero

The first time I met Kevin Dickson was about two weeks after he moved here. They lived on Center Point Road, and school had just begun. My son Nick befriended him right off the bat, as well as his brothers, especially Anthony, but also Daniel. My husband and I were bowlers, and my children always went with us to the bowling alley to hang out while we bowled. Nick asked the three brothers to join him, and I swung by and picked them up. This happened several more times during the year. Kevin and his brothers were always polite, and I enjoyed spending time with them.
Not long after that, Anthony was in my history class, followed by Kevin. That boy was such a skinny little sprite back then, quiet and polite. He grew into a man and did what I always thought he’d do. He made something of himself. He might’ve done things the hard way in school. He might not have graduated top ten in his class. He might not have broken any sports records. It doesn’t matter. He did what he was meant to do. He joined the military, served his country, and tried to take care of the people he loved. Maybe he did that a little too well, considering. It seems he could never tell anyone he cared about no.
I’ll forever have the last memory of Kevin burned into my mind’s eye. The day before my son drove him to the airport in St. Louis to put him on a plane for the last time, I saw Kevin in Mobile. I hadn’t seen him in over a year, and I was amazed at the change in him. His military bearing, his respectful demeanor, his muscular build. He’d matured beyond most people’s expectations in more ways than one.
To my understanding, he continued to work out and build both his mind and body. As a matter of fact, his last moments might have been spent doing just that. It is quite possible no one will ever know what happened to Kevin Dickson while serving in Iraq. In my mind, it absolutely does not matter. He’ll always be my hero. He deserves my respect and the appreciation of all who knew him and all who didn’t. All soldiers do, whatever their end, whatever their past. Kevin will get no less that eternal gratitude from me.
As a former military member and his former teacher, I’d like to extend my condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed. It is my hope that people think and pray daily for the soldiers in this war, whether they be stationed in their homeland or on foreign soil. The military way of life is hard, but necessary. Without those willing to serve in one capacity or another, this country would falter. It still might, but there are those courageous souls who are doing their parts to keep that from happening.
And it’s costing them, and the loved ones they leave behind, dearly.
Goodbye, Kevin, until we meet again.

Presentation at SouthWest Illinois College in East St. Louis

Sub-Genre Strengths Questionnaire
Name: Rebecca Savage
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Latest releases:
• Fueled By Instinct
• Cloaked In Assassination
• Destination Ever After
Coming Soon:
• Coincidence
• Combustion
• Consequences
Written but not contracted:
• Guard My Baby(submitted query and synopsis and full ms)
• Guard My Body(with an agent)
Started but not finished:
• Guard My Life
Ideas for several others-including a DRAGON story! Different genre for me, but will still have suspense…based on Chinese dragon elements.

1. Thinking about your sub-genre as a whole, which elements of fiction (for example, character, setting, suspense, plot, internal conflict, external conflict, pacing, details) do you feel it does better than others, and why? (Feel free to use examples from yours or others' stories)

I write romantic suspense, so of course I’d have to say the suspense element is strongest, but any story is nothing without lively characters, so I try to make my characters believable, interesting, and spunky. There’ll always be a conflict as well, sometimes both internal and external, and the plot revolves around the characters’ actions and the suspense element forcing them to function a certain way and evolve the plot.

2. How do you ensure these elements are a part of your story? Which element of writing do you feel is your strength, and if it differs from your sub-genre, how do you enhance it in your story to make an impact?

Suspense is automatically there if the characters have some issue to deal with, either internally or externally. In my case, there will always be external conflict because something is threatening to harm my hero or heroine or both. So my strength is the suspense plot, but the characters determine how they’ll deal with what is happening to them. My characters aren’t easy going victims. They fight back. That’s the impact.

3. Why do you believe readers who love your sub-genre more than any other do so? What is it about your stories that keep your fans coming back?

I’d like to think it’s my voice and the characters’ personalities. I try to get into their deep POV so my people are real. There’s constant action because of the persistent danger, and the romance, making for fast-paced read and exciting ride.

4. Thinking about your sub-genre, which authors do you feel are the "cream of the crop"--and why? What are their strengths?

Okay, I know, Nora, Nora, Nora. Writers probably get tired of being compared to her, but no one grips a reader’s attention like her. I don’t want to be just like her. I just want to be able to compel readers to feel the way she does. Not that there aren’t any other writers that make me feel when I read, but she’s the most prominent, well-known name that elicits the response I want reader to have when they read my work.

5. If you're published in more than one sub-genre, is it difficult to transition between them? How do you bring focus to your stories to make them unique to the sub-genre?

I’m only published on my genre, but I write various stories in that genre, so it might be considered sub-genre. I write female FBI agents, female assassins for the CIA, female snipers for the DEA, male SS agents and SEALs, and stalker situations. The stalker stories are very different from the intrigue element of the FBI, CIA, and DEA. The heroine is not weak by any means, but she is more at the mercy of the villain than a femme fatale, and so the hero is more active in his role as protector.

6. Any additional thoughts or insights about the strengths of your sub-genre?

I read all types of romance, but I enjoy suspense/intrigue/thrillers the most because of the constant action. The hero and heroine are busy. They have no choice. If the hero and heroine are bored, so is the reader. In suspense, if it’s done right, there’s no time to be bored. It’s not just about whether the hero and heroine fall in love. It’s how they deal with what’s happening around them, and how they deal with the attraction between them in the midst of danger and chaos. If they can make it past the hard times, their love can endure. That’s what it’s all about. For better or for worse.