Tag Archive - editing tips

Done with Your Draft—What Next?

If you’ve recently finished writing the first draft to your first book, congratulations! If you’re getting there, applying many of these tips in this oist are going to help you get that draft into great shape.

Maybe you have written numerous drafts and possibly already published a book or more. My hope is that you’ll keep refining your process so it’s more effective and streamline so as to optimize your time and effort. 

There are lots of methods to revising your draft, and every writer has different issues they need to address. So there isn’t a one size fits all approach to revision and self-editing. However, using a targeted approach in revision is the most effective way to get that manuscript in shape.

My signature online video course, 8 Weeks to Writing a Commercially Successful Novel, teaches writers this vitally important technique of using one specific lens when working through a draft, one scene or chapter at a time. Instead of using a random shotgun approach, trying to tighten a few sentences or replace one word with a better word, revising with an eye to a specific element, like microtension or sensory detail, will strengthen obvious weak areas and actually improve your draft! Continue Reading…

Spin That Captivating Tale

Today’s guest post is by Carla D. Bass.

Rumpelstiltskin spins straw into gold. An author employs an intriguing plot, captivating characters, and exquisite settings to spin a tale.

However, these ingredients, themselves, don’t guarantee a captivating tale. The author must induce the reader to hang on every single word (double drumbeat for emphasis) from that all-important title and opening line to the story’s conclusion. How? What additional pixie dust generates that literary magic?

The answer is twofold: 1) make each word count in conveying the story and 2) respect the reader’s time—present a memorable, enjoyable experience.

A foundational principle—for fiction and nonfiction—is leveraging available space and the reader’s time. I, too, am an avid reader, but lose interest when I can scan a few sentences on the page and skip the rest. Continue Reading…

Are You Making These 3 Common Revision Mistakes?

Today’s guest post is by Janice Hardy.

I’ve always enjoyed revising a novel, both with my own books and helping other writers with theirs. It’s exciting when an idea blossoms and I can see all the random pieces come together to form a compelling story. It’s also satisfying to help a writer pinpoint the exact problem she is having with a manuscript and work with her to fix it. Some might call me crazy, but it’s a lot of fun.

Every novel has its own quirks and trouble spots to work out, but there are some revision mistakes that new writers run into more than others (and even some pros do too).

  1. Polishing the Text before the Story Is Solid

No doubt you want your novel to read beautifully, but an early draft is not the place to polish the text. You’re still working out the story, tweaking the plot, fleshing out the characters and the setting. Until the story, plot, and characters are the best you can make them (and working as intended), the specific words in the text don’t matter. Continue Reading…

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