Got your cup of tea ready? Good.
So. Editing. As in every author’s favorite word. I’ve been editing not one, not two, but three full length novels AND I’ve started a fourth. Yes, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Too much, in fact, but that’s a given, right?
A few posts back, I shared some tips on editing. As in how NOT to do it. Thought I’d share some more and hopefully save you a whole wad of time.
When I first began my Mighty Irish Epic (now called “Summoned” but that title took many, many years to finally stumble upon). Where was I? Oh, right, my MIE.
I spent three years coaxing that bad boy along before I dared to share it with the crowded, noisy world. I was a new writer. I was in love with my story and didn’t want anyone to criticize my baby. I know this sounds familiar. I may not have shared, but I did study. As in everything I could get my hands on regarding the craft of writing. And on that journey, I discovered how NOT to do it. For the sake of your sanity and my self-worth, I’ll concentrate on the macro and leave plot structure stuff to the pros.
Here is a fine example of what I’ve learned along the way:
Kathlin watched as Arden walked slowly toward her. No, no, silly, you don’t need “as”…. Sheesh.
as Arden walk ed slowly toward her. Nope, don’t need the adverb. Catch one and kill it, right?
as Arden walk ed slowly toward her. I learned words like “watched, looked, heard, felt” are blocking words. They jump the reader out of the story because the reader IS the protagonist. Suddenly, you’re reminding the reader that they aren’t. so… Kathlin watched as Arden walked slowly toward her. And last? I learned to squish words together. Tighten to strengthen. That sort of stuff. Kathlin watched as Arden walked slowly toward her. approached.
I know, I know, maybe it needs some description, like “Arden’s boots clicked on the stone floor as he approached.” but that’s another post.
My tea is getting cold.