Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Review: Revision is a Process by Catherine E. McLean (Giveaway)

Self-editing got you down? Think it's dreadfully more boring than writing the first draft? Maybe it's time you look at it a bit differently. You'll find out how in Revision is a Process by author and instructor Catherine E. McLean.

In this short guide, McLean shares her years of experience and offers secrets, advice, and some nifty cheat sheets to systematically review the nuts and bolts of your manuscript and turn it into a reader-friendly and marketable piece of work.

I'm one of those crazy little people who enjoys revising more than writing the first draft, but for the rest of you writers out there who would rather cross the Sahara desert on your bare knees than edit your manuscript, Revision is a Process will definitely help. Broken down into twelve bite-size sections, you'll swiftly learn the tools you need to polish your work after that first draft is done.

McLean breaks the process down into manageable pieces that make sense. She speaks with authority, but also in a style that is welcoming and encouraging. I discovered in some ways her approach is similar to mine, but she provided tips that would make my own process better. Those cheat sheets are a great idea. It's also smart that she dedicates an entire section to "Grammar Glitches & Punctuation Pitfalls." We can all get tied up with those. She also includes a little bonus at the end.

If you're a writer, self-editing is part of the game. Learn how to play it right. Revision is a Process by Catherine E. McLean can show you how.


From Section 9 - Said is not Dead

One of the most controversial aspects of writing dialogue is the use of said as a speech tag. Some think using said is pedestrian and boring, others pepper every line of dialogue with said for fear the reader won't know who is speaking. The fact is that said is nearly invisible to a reader. However, overuse is a common problem, so delete as many as possible without jeopardizing clarity or use beats. (Revisit the Oubliette example on the previous page. Said was not used. Beats were.)

In your review to minimize using said, watch for LY or ING ending speech tags like: "Drop dead," she said dramatically. That tells (and does so poorly). Instead show with a beat: "Drop dead." The anger in her voice was unmistakable. You should avoid such tags as "Of course," he said knowingly (which has an ING and an LY). You may catch the LY and ING tags in the passivity check, which is discussed in Section 11. However, don't mistake the ING words when they're necessary, such as "Oh, that dialogue speech tag has a participle added to it," Marsha said, squinting at the underlined word on the page.

Yes, that's right, squinting is part of a participle phrase, which can be useful in speech tags.

Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Rimstone Concepts LLC; 1 edition (April 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988587440
ISBN-13: 978-0988587441

Barnes & Noble:

I received a copy of this book from the author through Goddess Fish Promotions. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. 

Catherine E. McLean's lighthearted, short stories have appeared in hard cover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include JEWELS OF THE SKY, KARMA & MAYHEM, HEARTS AKILTER, and ADRADA TO ZOOL (a short story anthology). She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes lighthearted tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal) with romance and advenure. She is also a writing instructor and workshop speaker. Her nonfiction book for writers is REVISION IS A PROCESS - HOW TO TAKE THE FRUSTRATION OUT OF SELF-EDITING.

● Hub Website:

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● Twitter:!/CatherineMcLea7

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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a
 $50 Amazon/ gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Nikolina said...

I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

Catherine said...

Good morning, Cheryl,

Thank you for featuring Revision is a Process and for having me as your guest today.
I'll be stopping by periodically today to answer questions or chat with those who leave comments. Have a great day!

Catherine said...

Good morning, Nikolina,

Thank you for dropping by. I'm happy to hear you've enjoyed following the tour. I wish you success in the raffle for the gift card. Enjoy your day!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great post!

Catherine said...

Hi, Lisa and Victoria,

Many thanks for dropping by today. The tour is winding down but it has been enjoyable interacting with commenters. Have a great day!

Bernie Wallace said...

Congratulations on your book. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Cheryl said...

Thanks for visiting, everyone. Good luck with the giveaway.

Catherine said...

Hi, Bernie,

Thanks for stopping by today.

Catherine said...

The day has come to a close. I thank you, Cheryl, for having me as your guest. To all who dropped by, I wish you the best of luck in the raffle and success with your writing endeavors. Good night.

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excerpt.