QUICK TIPS ON EDITING

When I first began writing, I hated the editing process. Now though, I love it and look forward to it.

Welcome My Guest: Judith Marshall, author of HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER and STAYING AFLOAT

So you’ve finished the first draft. The next step is to edit what you’ve written. First, you must understand that 90% of writing is rewriting. With that in mind, here are a few things to look for?

1) Hooks. Read your first sentence. Does it hook the reader and made her want to read on? The job of a hook is also to set the tone for the book. Does it set the tone you want?

2) Rhythm and cadence. Read the first chapter out loud. Listen to the rhythm of each sentence. While it may be grammatically correct, it may sound wrong, or may be difficult to understand.

3) Style. Does the writing style fit the story or does it get in the way of the story? You want the reader to be immersed in the story, not impressed by your style.

4) Overuse or misuse of adjectives and adverbs. Begin with the first chapter and highlight each one. How many have you used? Do you need it and if so, is it the right descriptive word? Remember less is more.

5) Cliches. When you use a comparison or metaphor, you’re telling the reader to stop and pay attention to a particular idea. You want your comparisons to be unique and precise.

6) Dialogue. Dialogue is a powerful tool that should be used sparingly, and at the right moment. Read your dialogue. Do we know who’s speaking? Do you use identifiers effectively? Are you using ‘said’ to often? Could you replace it with yelled, cried, whispered, hissed, etc.?

7) Show vs. Tell. Remember as a writer your job is to show the reader what your characters are like by their actions. When you show instead of tell, where you used to have description you would have a scene.

There are several other elements to consider when editing such as point of view, vocabulary, punctuation, etc. But the above list will get you started.

Judith Marshall
Author of HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER (http://tinyurl.com/3a4k3c4) and
STAYING AFLOAT
http://www.judithmarshall.net

~ by LM Preston on June 3, 2010.

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