Saturday, 6 November 2010

Editing woes

Is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of writers everywhere and quite often despondancy.  These days we writers need to get our manuscripts as polished as we can before it goes in front of an agent or publisher, because if we don't we'll get that dreaded 'no' email or even worse, our hard work stuffed in an envelope and pushed through our letterbox.

I am currently at the editing process with Vile City.  It's a long process, but I know its one I have to go through if I want to stand a chance of getting it published.  In these days where everything is done on computer I have discovered one thing - if I want to get my novel to the best it can be its time to edit the old fashioned way - with a pen and paper.  It's far too easy to miss mistakes when you write and edit on the your PC or laptop.

Here are some others things I have learnt -

1- Sometimes it's better to give your writing to someone neutral to read.  I had two fantastic reviews on You Write On that highlighted typos I had made.

2- Don't keep using  'seem' and 'seemed'.  Be more specific.

3- Cut down on the use of 'only' and 'just.'  These are words you can do without.

4- Have a timeline for your book.  This will prevent main character A meeting character B when they were both somewhere different entirely.

5- If you write a piece in your novel that you love, but it doesn't fit in, then DITCH IT.  Don't get all precious or uppity.

6- If your novel takes a wrong turning, retrace your steps.  Where did it all go wrong/bad?  Fix it.  Don't sob as you delete all your lovely words. 

7- Have a document where you keep chunks of text that you have taken from your novel in case you realise you've made a mistake and need to put them back. 

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