Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Editing for Style, Day 2

Three Edit Passes

Day 2 on my stroll across my notes on editing:

1. Content Revision
2. Style and Readability
3. Mechanics


--- Remove unnecessary words

--- Less is More- Adjectives/adverbs walked slowly > trudged
- Active words
- Concrete nouns tree > oak
- Specificity nutrition>food>fruit>banana

- Seamless flow from scene to scene—
connect scenes so you don’t jar reader
- Interplay with goals of POV characters

--- Show don’t Tell- Replace statements with scene demonstrating the emotion/element
- Positive versus negative statements
- Active voice (did versus done to)
Passives take reader out of the action
Actives draw reader into action

--- Avoid clich├ęs like the plague
- Turn a phrase

--- Fit similes & metaphors to tone/mood
use these elements judiciously (Less is More)
- Use to show contrast—provides insight
Don’t try to be clever—“oh see how well I can write”
- Vocabulary can often go astray—
Readers read fiction for enjoyment
—don’t send them to Webster’s
- Use sparingly

--- Use plenty of white space
- Short paragraphs
- Bits of dialog
- Vary sentence/paragraph length

Write Everyday!



  1. Damn! This boy is turning out to be an architect of writing. Go Mac!