The River Runs Red … by Darla Luke

Ever hear the adage “It takes a village to raise a child”? The same goes ten-fold for a writer. We have fragile egos, but we’re not unreasonable. We just want to be told we’re brilliant, here’s a million bucks for all your hard work and toil … go write another superb book.

*Sigh* If it were only that easy, we’d all be rich.

The first two cold readers made insightful comments that made me think about my story in a different light (and you know who you are GF & SIL!).

A good friend of SJP finished editing a short story for me this week. I’ll not mention names, she knows who she is (LK, LOL!). She’s the third set of eyes on my manuscript, so I didn’t expect her to find much past the occasional misused word – heel instead of heal, their instead of they’re, you used ‘just’ 567 times,  etc. Let’s just say – if the red virtual ink she used was a river, the valleys would have flooded!

The funny thing is, I got excited as I read her corrections and suggestions. She fixed weird, convoluted sentences I couldn’t. Showed when punctuation goes inside the quotation marks (if the punctuation in the quote above is wrong, forgive me, I tried to put the question mark on the inside of the quote and it looked wrong to me). Asked stuff like, what’s the name of the town Ali (my heroine) lives in?

What do you mean I didn’t mention where she lives, it’s right  he– Hmmmm. Three chapters later and I still hadn’t given the town a name. There goes my gold star for being brilliant.

Being a former teacher, our friend knows all those pesky little rules in English class that I couldn’t be bothered to memorize in high school – they were stupid and who uses those things anyway? (Really, let’s face it … the farthest thing from my mind in high school was that someday all the predicates and noun-verb combos would be important to me umpteen years later!). Yeah, wish I would have paid attention to Mrs. Goraske when she tried to teach a bunch of hormonal 16 & 17-year-olds. If I’d only known then …

Self-published authors are at a disadvantage if they don’t have an English degree, plus a marketing degree, plus a publicity guru on speed-dial. Without stellar editing, a story doesn’t shine like a polished gem or rise to the top like rich cream.

That’s my goal. To have a polished story that takes a reader away from their life for a little while.

If you read Cassiel Knight’s blog this week, she gave HUGE tips on how to keep your editor happy, if you’re lucky enough to work with one … they went to school to learn those pesky rules.

Everybody thinks they know what they’ll be doing for the rest of their life after high school, some even have a path laid out (as laughable as that sounds now!). Mrs. Goraske would shutter to think that I ended up as a writer.

As always, I want to hear from you! Did you end up where you thought you would be at this stage of your life?Barn in the mist

And because I couldn’t use this picture as part of my story, I’m sharing the view outside my kitchen window …

Here are the self-published books that made the USA Today Top 150 Best-Selling Books list through Sunday 8-26-12*:

While It Lasts by Abbi Glines (Amazon Digital Services). This week #31 (last week #38) $3.99

Taken by Kelli Maine (B&N PubIt!). This week #34 (last week, not on the list)  $2.99

Softly at Sunrise by Maya Banks (Amazon Digital Services). This week #45 (last week, not on the list) $2.99

For His Forever by Kelly Favor (B&N PubIt!). This week #86 (last week #196) $2.99

Easy by Tammara Webber (Amazon Digital Services). This week #107 (last week #143)  $3.99

Sarah’s Surrender by Lynda Chance (B&N PubIt!). This week #121 (last week #59) $2.99

Rising Storm by Kathleen Brooks (B&N PubIt!). This week #130 (last week, not on the list) $2.99

For His Pleasure by Kelly Favor (B.N. Digital Publishing, Inc.). This week #138 (last week #125)  $0.99

Because of Low by Abbi Glines (Amazon Digital Services). This week #139 (last week #265) $2.99

Weekends Required by Sydney Landon (B&N PubIt!). This week #142 (last week #107) $2.99

*I’m human and do make mistakes (a shock to my friends, I’m sure!). If there’s a book on this week’s list that I missed, please let me know. If I misspelled/mistyped an author’s name or book title, I’m extremely sorry.

Darla Luke

You can find me on Twitter @writer_at_work, “Like” me on Facebook, or visit my website:


About Darla Luke

Darla Luke spent her childhood making up stories in her head, when she wasn't devouring every book she could get her hands on. If someone would have told her she'd be a writer when she grew up, she would have laughed herself silly. Now, writing is her passion, and she loves telling stories (especially ghost stories) and believes they all should have a happy ending.

Posted on August 31, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thanks, Susan, Maggie & Nancy! Writing this blog is fun, regardless of the stress I put on myself when procrastinating 🙂 I’m not where I thought I’d be by now, especially in light of self-publishing. This journey called writing (& life, for that matter!) is not for the faint of heart, or ego. It must be my lesson to learn, not only patience, but that it’s going to be all right, no matter where the journey takes me. So glad you’re all on the path with me, makes it much more enjoyable!


  2. I love this blog because it reminds us the core of a writer’s journey is writing, rewriting, then rewriting some more until we get it right 🙂


  3. I Loved this line: “We just want to be told we’re brilliant, here’s a million bucks for all your hard work and toil … go write another superb book.” It is sooooooo true!

    As did I end up where I thought I would be? Not sure. When I was in college the career I chose was counseling. I did that for 5 years after graduation and then it began its eternal morphing throughout lots of years in computer science, education, counseling & Academia. As for being a writer, that was a dream I’d convinced myself was never to be realized because I never afford to pursue publishing.

    Eight years ago I decided to pursue that writing dream and maintain my academic career. Nine completed novels and four published novels later, I am very happy I made that decision. My mother still thinks I’m brilliant, as does the occasional editor. I always turn in the very best book I can at that stage in my career. (I admit each book is better than the last.) However, I am still waiting to hear your line above with a million dollar contract attached to it. 🙂

    I will continue to pursue my dream of that contract and the praise to go with it. After all, it is pursuing my dreams that have brought me to where I am in life. And I LIKE this place.


  1. Pingback: Retreating to Write … by Darla Luke « See Jane Publish

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