I always thought you had to go to the Beta readers to get true editing. Turns out, the author is the best first-editing tool.
But how? I’ve posted a bit about this before. There is macro editing (i.e.: does this turn in the plot make sense? Should the ending change completely?) and micro editing (i.e., comas, passive voice, etc.). This is about micro editing. Ten tips to help anyone write better. Even a blog post. 🙂
I really liked the tips and they are incredibly helpful because I’m in the middle of editing Amy’s Courage and man, alive! It’s not easy. (sigh). A big thanks to C. S. Lakin for the post!
I’m deep inside the World of Editing. I’m reading, re-reading and hacking away at Amy’s Courage. It’s not easy. Like most writers, I hate editing. But it’s a necessity. It must be done.
What helps me is to break it down in to little pieces that are manageable and to believe I can do it. I’ve done it before. I can do it again. I don’t have to get it perfect right now, I just want progress.
It also helps if I have resources. And one of the best I’ve seen is Nathan Bransford. The guy is genius. He’s actually written a book on how to write a novel.
Here are some examples of Nathan’s amazing resources for editing:
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/06/revision-checklist.html This is a revision check list to beat all checklists. If you can get through it, your novel will shine brighter than the sun. Awesome resource.
Do you have enough conflict? http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/03/on-conflict.html. This is a biggie for me. I like to ramble (oops). Rambling is all fine and dandy with a friend, but it kills a story. A book needs conflict to keep it going. It’s like air. No conflict, death happens and quickly.
And this one is HUGE for me because once I develop my characters, they have backgrounds, histories, tone of voices and even favourite drinks! They’re so complete, they sometimes take over and drive the story where they want it to go and not where it needs to go. http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/02/do-you-own-your-characters-or-do-your.html
What about you? Do you have some editing advice? Resources? I’d love to hear about them!
Starting tomorrow, I’m putting up three posts with resources in a row. One is a great site full of resources (I mean FULL). The second one is on how to be happy writing. The third on how to write good dialogue and the fourth is on the best writing advice I ever got. Oh, did I say three? I meant four.
I’ve got them all set up, ready to go. I had an extra cup of coffee this morning and I felt that eager blogger feeling–either that or I’m really trying to avoid editing.
One more note. To make it easier for you to see and choose what you want in resources, I’ve created a little widget on the side bar: Resources for Writers. Now you can just go and click on your topic of interest and get the links. No fuss. The Resources page is still there, also available for you to use.
I’m almost done Amy’s Courage. I have the epilogue to write and I’m done. I’m excited and thrilled…and terrified of the editing that I know will come next.
Editing doesn’t come easy to me. I don’t have tons of money for someone else to do it so it’s up to me…and my trusty computer. The very first thing I have to do is look over the plot and make sure that it runs smoothly and that any superfluous scenes find their way to the trash. Then it’s going over the writing until it shines brighter than the stars in the sky.
My biggest editing nightmares are: knowing how to edit and when to stop and the dreaded passive voice.
So, I promise a post with links on how to edit very soon. I’ll add the links to my growing Resources page for easy access. I also promise a post on that nasty ‘passive voice’ and how to avoid it–also with links.
One final idea that you might be able to try: the new version of MacBook Pro has a feature that reads out loud anything you highlight. Hearing any written text out loud immediately highlights all and any typos, misplaced commas, and issues. It’s a very powerful tool…but you need patience because it will read the entire story in one slow voice. Also, you might want to use headphones (or not do it while in a public coffee shop–yeah, I tried it there. Enough said).