August 24, 2009

Editing and Revising: Part 2

Here are some articles I've found that may help you on your journey through your rough draft:

First and foremost, Holly's one-pass revision. I edit using this method, and tweak it to fit my current project, whatever it may be. I use the articles below to help with specifics, but you may find they're a better fit than Holly's.
(If you like this one, Holly's talking about creating an entire course devoted to revising.)

First, The Blood-Red Pencil has an article on how to see if there are problems with your manuscript without even reading anything. This is a great technique you can use before digging in. I scan each page for the problems listed here, then I get my hands dirty :)

On the same blog, there's a guest post called Top Ten Things I Know About Editing. I can say from personal experience that reading your work aloud is an excellent way to catch pacing problems and echoes.

Deadline Dames is one of my favorite blogs. They have a great article on revising that's entertaining to read. At the bottom, they have a thorough checklist that I use all the time.

Be wary of clichés. They're so easy to use and so difficult to catch and weed out, but if you can find a unique way of describing something, your story will sing. Clichés and Descriptions has a number of examples.

Rachelle Gardner, a well-known literary agent, put together another nice little checklist on things you should cut in order to Tighten Up Your Manuscript.

One of the most important things you can do when you edit is to use powerful verbs. Too often, we as writers litter our work with "to be" verbs, when there's an excellent verb that not only provides the same meaning, but paints a specific picture using fewer words. This article is also from the Blood-Red Pencil.

And finally, if you want a thorough, descriptive list, here's The Ten Mistakes by Holt Uncensored. Like I said, it's thorough.

The first part of this article can be found here.
The third section on editing is really just for fun. I'll post some amusing quotes :)

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