Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Writing Tip Tuesday

I read through the entire manuscript looking for only one element to revise.

Some examples:
  • Focus on consistency of point of view (This is a biggie. It's VERY easy to jump out of point of view and you might miss it if you aren't totally focused on that particular element of the writing.)
  • Focus on unnecessary words, sentences, paragraphs, etc. (Eliminate anything that doesn't advance the story, reveal character or enhance setting. Don't be word drunk, as Donald Murray calls it.)
  • Watch out for overused words. We all have our darlings to kill. Mine happen to be: now, then, and every now and then. (And remember to use the features of your word processing program - like SEARCH. If you think you may be overusing a word, search for it.)
  • Watch for sentences, paragraphs, scenes or even characters that repeat or serve the same purpose. (Resist the urge to repeat yourself - whether it's words or ideas.)
During this stage of revision, don't try to read for meaning or story structure. That's a whole different ball of wax. Just focus on whatever element you're looking for.


Ann Finkelstein said...

Years ago at an SCBWI conference in LA, I heard an author and editor say, "Every draft should have a purpose." I try to follow that advice.

About Karen Williams said...

So well stated. A great way to understand revision.