Cut it out! Pare it down. Weed out unnecessary words. Instead of a long, flowery sentence, like this one, sometimes the use of shorter sentences can add sizzle and shine to your dialogue and make it dazzle. Click to Tweet #DazzlingDialogue #amwriting
Writers write because we love to use words, but let’s face it––even though we say we write for ourselves, we all want to be published and have many others read what we’ve written, for the mutual benefit of ourselves and our readers. That’s why self-editing is important. We must do everything we can to get our manuscripts ready for publication. Click to Tweet #amwriting #publishready
You hear it more and more these days. Your manuscript must be “publish-ready” in order for it to be considered. Click to Tweet What does “publish-ready” mean? #amwriting #publish-ready #self-editing
For the next few blog posts, we’ll look at this and how you can improve your raw writing into something closer to “publish-ready.” I’ll be using several resources for this. Today’s resource is The Scene Book, by Sandra Scofield.
First, let’s take a look at what it means. Continue reading “Seamless Self-Editing—Part I”
I haven’t written much lately about my writing journey, which is originally why I started this blog, so I thought I’d share an update. Even when things appear to go slowly, sometimes progress isn’t seen until a step back is taken. Today, I’m stepping back and taking an inventory of what I’m involved in that is writing related.
“Please reject.” The email was from a complete stranger. I almost didn’t open it because I thought it was junk mail.
Then I thought, oh. Oh. A reject letter. I might as well see who this is really from.
I was once told that writing one’s pain makes a compelling read. It’s deep and people can identify. My pain is rejection. I don’t do well with it. I never have. I think I was born with it. It’s called Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD). In other circles, it’s called Root of Rejection. Healing comes in stages with me.
I promise not to bleed all over you, but show you a bit about how my thinking is skewed. Ridiculous thoughts of self-condemnation and diminished self-worth keep running through my mind.
Signs of a Self-Published Book
First, the story rambled on and on and on. I think the author was trying to write a sweeping saga or something. In writing romance, your main story line is to get the guy and the girl together. Mostly, that happens at the very end. But there are ways to get them together earlier. Then, you do have to throw in some dangers to the relationship. Will they, can they stay together? This author did that, and she did fine.
But…she could have put both books together in one. It was too long.
Second, loose writing. Here’s what I mean by that. Saying something in ten words but you could have said it in five. If the author had an editor, they did a rather sloppy job of it. If you have to publish your novel yourself, at least pay a published author who offers editing services to do a substantive edit on your book.
I used to wonder why certain publishing contests or publishing houses have specific word count maximums in their submissions. I think I understand now. It’s because authors are wordy. Because we love words, we use too many of them.
Third, because I also have this problem from time to time, I recognize it in other works. It’s called “head hopping.” Each scene in a novel should be written from a particular character’s point of view. You “head-hop” when the author has more than one point of view per scene. Sometimes, it shows up in one sentence or two. But it’s noticeable. How do I know? If the point of view character can’t or doesn’t know something about another character or situation, but the author sticks in what another thinks or feels without it being dialogue, that’s head-hopping.
I noticed this a few times in the books. I was surprised because this author has several books out on the market. Maybe they are all self-published. Continue reading “Self Publishing Writing Tips”