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  • "... being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on till completion ..." (Philippians 1:6)
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  • New Release
  • THE WATCHER KING
  • Friday, October 14, 2016

    Editing: The Problem with Writing ...

    It happens
    Before sending a manuscript to a publisher make sure you self-edit. Honestly, it probably takes two or three rewrites before a manuscript is polished enough to finally go through ... another edit.

    Take the Stephen King 10% rule: 2nd draft=1st draft minus 10%.

    Then after that, let the people in your writers' group take a look at it. Remember, thick skin is necessary for every writer.

    “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it – whole-heartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.” ~ Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1914)

    Then after your writers' group have had their say, look for help from a professional editor. Most editors have great deals. Some will do the first chapter for free, or anywhere from $3 - $6 a page for the first 150 pages. Look around, do the research, and you'll find good editors who will help you polish your book. 


    TIPS WRITERS SHOULDN'T IGNORE:
    1. Be part of a writers group
    2. Attend writers conferences ... at least twice a year.
    3. Take writing classes
         ** Here's a list of FREE writing classes offered by top universities.
    4. READ! (good books, not only in your genre; find the great authors, study their work and do what   they do.

    DON'T FORGET to ...
    Show, don't tell.
    Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov

    to Tell: Dan was confused. 
    to Show: Dan crunched his eyebrows and scratched his head.

    Click here for perfect examples of "show, don't tell."

    THE ISSUE with ...
    1. Dialogue: Tags versus Beats (Awesome must-read post by Rebecca LuElla Miller)
    Dialogue tag (use sparingly or eliminate): "How many jelly beans do you think are in this jar?" she asked.

    Descriptive beat (use well, more acceptable than tags): Darla adjusted her purple-rimmed reading glasses and picked up the jar on Mrs. Teacher's desk. "How many jelly beans do you think are in here?"

    2. Overusing certain words (deadwood words/deadwood constructions): these we can eliminate 99% of the time.

    just
    that
    really
    very
    totally
    so
    because
    felt/feel
    see/saw/look
    think/thought
    slowly
    suddenly

    there is
    there are
    to be

    Great article on overused words 
    More overused words and phrases

    Links to website with editing tools that help find the overused words in your manuscript. 

    MISPLACED MODIFIERS
    only
    almost

    What are modifiers? by Grammar Girl

    THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO, "HUMMmmmm."
    1. If you say, "He started to walk in the same direction ..." wouldn't it be better to say, "He walked in the same direction"?


    2 comments :

    elkjerkyforthesoul said...

    I tell writers to pretty much forget they know the word "there". Strong verbs instead of weak ones, eliminate "verb-to-be+-ing" combinations when possible. And as Strunk and White always say, "Omit needless words." Write tight.

    AI/Alten Ink said...

    Well said. I should add that to the list but we've got it right here. LOL. Thanks E.