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Jacqui Jacoby, on Writing & Editing!


Please welcome author Jacqui Jacoby as she talks about writing and editing. 

Award-winning author, Jacqui Jacoby lives and writes in the beauty of Northern Arizona. Currently adjusting to being an empty nester with her first grandchild to draw her pictures, Jacqui is a self-defense hobbyist. Having studied martial arts for numerous years she retired in 2006 from the sport, yet still brings strength she learned from the discipline to her heroines. She is a working writer, whose career includes writing books, teaching online and live workshops and penning short nonfiction.


Jacqui Jacoby on the web:

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Now over to Jacqui...
Write drunk.  Edit sober

Write drunk.  Edit sober.  That is what Ernst Hemingway said. 

Even as a non-drinker, I would have to disagree with Papa as I just, this week, finished a four week project my book DEAD MEN of editing I swear, if I thought it would have helped I would have mainlined caffeine and whiskey combined to make the process easier.

Because let’s be honest, writing the books, though hard work, is where the fun lies.  It’s where the creation takes place, the scenes unfold, the story livens up. Characters come to life and we can see them and hear them and imagine what it would be like if we had them over for dinner. If we have done our jobs, we would even know what to cook as we know their favorite meal.

But then the book is done and it looks a lot like a memo sheet from a backstage production of Guys and Dolls and we now have to make it all make sense so we can honesty type “The End” and mean it.

Spell check on my 120,000 word document took two days only and that isn’t counting the other problems the document had.  I seriously cannot spell and remember my philosophy teacher at college explaining to me “You don’t have to know how to spell correctly as long as you spell correctly.”

On The Dead Men, I spent weeks ironing out everything from working to make sure the right character swore in the right way,  to characters verbal expression, to how they took their coffee.  I had to be consistent. Ian couldn’t take sugar on page 100 and black on 300.  I checked every quote mark, every period.

You know, all those things that you had to do that last time you did it.  This is the not fun part of the job.  But a part that must be done.

            And I can up with a few ground rules to make sure I stayed sane and kept that headache at bay.

1.       Monitor the time at the computer.  Work in blocks of time then take a break. For me, it was work 45/break 15.  And a break can be laying face down weeping on the bed, or catching up on the housework that needed doing.
2.      Make sure to keep a balanced and predictable diet.  Do no binge on junk food high in sugar or salt and other icky things.  Fruit, nuts, water…keep your mind clear by keeping your blood sugar balanced
3.      Walk.  Yep. That’s right.  Get outside and take a thirty minute walk once a day at least.  Nothing clears your head like the fresh air and the sunshine, or as in my case, dreary over cast days, but hey, it’s still someplace other than in front of the computer and away form a glowing screen.
4.      Watch fifteen minutes of The Boondock Saints.  Oh sorry, that’s me.  You can watch what makes you smile.
5.      See people, go out to dinner but get home to finish. Just take this time to remind you there are breathing people out there, too.


Editing is part of the job, an important part. I hear too many writers say “I write it it’s just too much …” Well, yeah, it is.  But if you ever want that feeling of opening that heavy box the UPS man just left full of your books, with your name … grab the purple pen and let’s go.

 Jacqui Jacoby's latest release is MAGIC MAN



Detective Peter Mackenzie knew crime and knew his job. With The Cemetery Man schedule to leave the next body on the next grave Peter doesn’t have time for the puzzling Alexandra Madison. Her wild stories of a stolen life and family and friends who don’t remember her. Her last resort, she tells him is him and the relationship they shared. 

Peter doesn’t need this nonsense and his eccentric father walking in only irritates him more. Until his father utters the name everyone forgot, giving hope to Alexandra for the first time. 

Time is their enemy as the weekend grows closer and on Sunday, Peter knows another body will be waiting.
 What he doesn’t know, what he couldn’t know, even with Alexandra delving deeper into his father’s past, the victims are not random. They are chosen with reason and the monster who takes them is not done. 

She is coming for one of them.

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23 comments:

  1. Great advice, Jacqui! I'm slogging through revisions and edits, and I gotta tell you, the home stretch is the hardest! I keep reminding myself I'd rather be here, surrounded by words to revise, then have no words at all. Congrats on your recent release of Magic Man!

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    1. Thanks Emily. And I know ... people have to understand DO NOT talk to me in edits. You risk loosing your head!! LOL

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  2. Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for the intro to Jacqui! Jacqui, you had me nodding and smiling as I read your post. Great tips. I especially like how the break can include weeping, as I have been known to do that...:) Wishing you all the best!

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    1. LOL I will lean toward the weeping and away from the housework. Good luck.

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  3. My spelling is atrocious so I’m not sure how I would react to “You don’t have to know how to spell correctly as long as you spell correctly.” However, it does make perfect sense.
    I absolutely agree about walking – I call it my thinking time.

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    1. Can't spell, can't type and please don't ask me about math!!

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  4. Great tips! For me, editing is the best part... second only to doing the research. Getting those words down the first time is the toughest part for me. Once they're down, at least there's something to work with. (Or cry over... whatever...)

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    1. If editing is easy for you, more power to you. I can't stand it.

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  5. Great ideas! I enjoy editing more than I did when I first started - but it's hard - and these tips help :)

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    1. Learning the difference between then/than helped. I **never** could get those in high school.

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  6. I do like this look inside a writer's life. Weeping or hysterical laughter both work for me.
    Magic Man sounds right up my (very broad) street. Thanks for the introduction.

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  7. Editing, revising... I really struggle in this area of writing.

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  8. Editing, revising... I really struggle in this area of writing.

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  9. I'm an editor, so I love the revision process. I love drafting too, though. They are different, but both stages can be enjoyable.

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  10. Great tips! I'd add: don't edit when tired. It just doesn't work out well that way. Heh.

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  11. I don't mind the editing phase. I can get away from my computer and edit on the couch then. But I do remember to get up and move around often.

    Congrats on the release of Magic Man.

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  12. The first draft is always the most fun for me, and editing sometimes seems to need something much stronger than merely coffee!

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  13. I've recently taken to walking to clear my head, and it really works. That said, I need it more for drafting. (I paint myself into corners all the time.) ;-)

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  14. I actually like editing. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. My hubby tells me I should start editing as a business, but then it would no longer be as fun.

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  15. Ugh. I've never tried writing drunk but I always edit sober and I think I need the alcohol more for the editing process than the writing process!

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