Tip Tuesday Round Up: Editing the beast5 min read
A weekly round up of writing advice and inspiration
“Now’s the time to get really tough with yourself. Just because you got up at three a.m. to write a pretty paragraph that came into your head, doesn’t mean that pretty paragraph should be treasured if it’s overwritten. As Stephen King put it in On Writing: ‘To write is human, to edit is divine.’”
Is your prose too flowery for its own good? This blog post at The Creative Penn deals with the topic of overwriting, including how to spot that you’re doing it (you can always tell which writers are picking up that thesaurus too much!) and how to resolve it (with a little help from Stephen King!)
“Line editing is one of my favorite stages because it’s so rewarding, especially if I’ve already worked with the author on prior drafts of the story. I love watching something go from a mass of beautiful, lumbering, unwieldy potential to a sharp, swift instrument of fulfilled intent.”
Is your story ready for a line edit? The Jami Gold blog continues it’s blog series about revising and editing your work: this edition focusing on one of the last edits you will undertake to shape and refine your story.
“When you read through your manuscript for the first time, you could love it, hate it, or feel completely ambivalent about it. It’ll be even scarier when you send it off to your editor and find yourself wishing you’d just changed that one tiny thing first. Discouragement is okay, as long as you don’t stay there. Recognize it, feel it for a minute, and then move on. You have more books to write, and discouragement and self-pity aren’t going to write them for you.”
Lady in Read opts for hiring an external editor to judge your work, and explains how you can actually enjoy the process of editing.
“Don’t just push forward and write the whole manuscript, switching around your narrative voice – or worse, staying in the voice you originally chose, determining to edit it later. You’re just creating more work for yourself. It’s much easier to edit the first 30 pages, fix what you feel strongly should be fixed – and then see if you’re right.”
Great Storybook teach you how to try to avoid a painful edit at the end of your work, by editing the story as you go, with the aim to hopefully catch glaring errors in the style of your story early in the process, before it causes damage in later stages.
“Start from the understanding that the reader will likely miss or misunderstand some aspect of your work, be annoyed or confused by something you thought was clever, and create interpretations that fly in the face of the story you intended for them to experience.”
Amy Bennett at Editing-Writing addresses a common problem that she’s found when reviewing manuscripts recently: that of overcomplicating your story, and how to overcome this. We can often get carried away with complex plots in fantasy and other genre stories, but when taking a look back at your work, Bennett lays out how you can make sure your reader will still be on the same page as you.
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