Monday, July 10, 2017

Parameters of Pruning and Editing #Gardening #Bible Stories

Writing Tips

 One of the most important and least understood gardening tasks is the art of pruning. When trees, shrubs, and flowers grow rampant, they need to be judiciously cut--the key word being judiciously. Indiscriminate cutting leads to disaster. The wise gardener know when, where and how to prune without killing the plant. 

Know species. Some of my rhododendrons can be heavily pruned and still bloom profusely the next year. Others have few or no blooms for a year or two after planting. Prune after blooming.

". . . prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof," (Leviticus 25:3, KJV). 

Manuscript editing is also an art, a continuous learning process.

Several years ago, Christian author Marjorie Gordon, long-term friend and former student, received  good news and bad news. A magazine really liked her 1200 word article . . .but would only buy if it was cut in half. Marge regularly sold to a variety of magazines that required limited word counts but how could she  whack precious parts and still have a good manuscript?

I was spending the weekend with the Gordons (the one and only time.) I read Marge's article, smiled, and asked for a red pen. I had years of experience editing my own and students' manuscripts. Even so, I believe it took three eagle-eyed readings to accomplish the task. It meant cutting a lot of good stuff (sniff, sniff) while keeping the impact of the article, not an easy job.

"The rest of the story," as Paul Harvey used to say, is that the editor was delighted with the 600-word end result and bought it. Marge won favor with him as an author willing to work within his parameters. Now, years later, we still laugh about this incident and refer to it when fellow authors complain about having to cut their work.

Knowing how to successfully condense our stories, books, and articles is vital. This has served me well for years, but never more so than when writing my expanded, recently-issued Bible Stories: Creation to Revelation (100 stories).

The back cover copy shows this was quite a challenge.

At last . . .

Help for those searching for an easily- 
understood collection of retold Bible stories,
stories, themes, and major events.
Award-winning author Colleen L. Reece uses
simple, down-to-earth language that all ages
can grasp and appreciate.
Bible Stories Creation to Revelation is an
excellent quick-reference title and memory
refresher. A great gift, good for sermon
illustrations, family devotions, or read-aloud. 

Discover God's love, justice, and mercy 
by reliving long-ago events 
that changed life and the world forever. 

Note: My editor allows me to submit sample covers then works her magic. Also, to choose public domain Clipart for black and white chapter heading illustrations. Fun!

Bible Stories, Creation to Revelation

1 comment:

Renee Riva said...

This is along the same lines as Women of the Bible in that it takes favorite Bible events and brings them to life in story form. Especially helpful for children too young to comprehend reading straight from the Bible. Well written and well told.