I am about to roll through editing myself. I have read this book (Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne, Dave King) twice, but there is a major difference between reading how to do it, and actually doing it correctly. :-/
::However you need a second set of eyes and if you can get more, then the more the merrier.
::and toy with rewriting such passages.It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
Thanks for your input.Hi,
First, ignore word counts. They may matter to agents, but if you're not submitting to them, then they are of absolutely no relevance at all. Case in point, my latest just pubbed yesterday, is 222K. It started at 228K, dropped to 221K after the first edit, and then rose to 222K after the second.
I'm not concern about the word count per se I just don't want to bore the readers with material that is not important to the theme of the story, the plot, or the charcters.
Next, you need to get outside eyes on your work.
I fully understand and agree with you.
But even before editing you need beta reading - ie giving it to other readers to work their way through and give opinions about what they liked and what they didn't / what they didn't get. They just have to be honest - ie you don't want them telling you what they think you want to hear.
I especially agree on this point., but I'm having problem looking for beta readers.
"I don't understand this". That's a very strong clue that something hasn't been well explained.
This is also something else that I'm looking for.
Read the opinions of others working on the same piece of work. This will help you sharpen your skills. And don't limit yourself to typos. If you think a sentence is wrong and needs rewriting - do it. You may be right or you may be wrong - but as long as it's done with an eye to helping another writer that's fine. It's all opinion anyway. Then when you put your own work up - remember whatever anyone else says is only opinion. They may be right or wrong too. In the end it's your book.
This one I'm going to have to think about. I don't mind someone saying this sentence or this paragraph stinks or sucks and rewrite it, but I don't like them rewriting it. I feel the story should be my words not theirs. Feeling this way, I don't want to treat another writer rhis way.
First hit the programs - all of them. Next, once that's done, get a text to speech program,
What are these programs and where can I get them?
Also try reading it out loud yourself. It makes you pick up things you wouldn't otherwise.
I sometimes do this and you are right. I will do more.
But if you can get someone to do some editing - a friend, an old English teacher etc, do it.
I have a friend that's been doing that. Unfortunately, she in the process of a big move and can't touch base with me until the fall.
You can try an author edit swap also, or a writing group.
I am willing to do an author edit swap. Are you available? I am a shut in so right now a writing group is not an option.
Last, I'd just mention that if you're going to want to pursue your writing, you have to expect it to require a lot more from you than just a bit of drafting. It's all consuming.
There's a reason I'm absolutely knackered at the moment!!!
I am finding this out more and more as I go on. I won't say I'm knackered (I like that word), but I lost some sleep over it. From what I have read from a number of sources I can expect to be knackered.
Thanks for the in-put.You can actually reduce your word count by quite a lot if you go through sentence by sentence and look for those where you can trim off a few words by rewriting the sentence more economically. The words you take out can add up (or cut down) much more quickly than you might think.
I've been more or less doing this and you're right it does make a difference. However it is a long and tedious process.
Sometimes, though, it's got to be a trade-off ...which is more important, keeping something that you think adds something important or reducing the word count. ... but sometimes if you cut out things a passage ends up seeming too skimpy and rushed. So you may have to weigh several different factors at the same time and make up your mind which are the most important to the particular story .........
This is a balance I'm battling with. How much of my artist sense do I allow as opposite to boring my readers to death?
The best advice I can give you is to be flexible, and don't get hung up doing things all in one particular way,.
This is my other battle.
I will re-read your comments and see if I can apply them. Thanks.I'm still working out my editing process but this seems to be working so far -
The repetition thing accounts for a lot of words.
I have discover quite a bit of repetition and it does add up. One of the other things I've been doing lately is to pick a chapter, read and examine it, see if it makes sense, and then work on shortening it.
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