About My Book

Learn more about my first book, Six Pack: Emergence.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lessons Learned in Editing Process

I'm going through the draft of my first book for the third time and find that, each time I read through it, there are a lot of things I can do differently.

Some helpful advice I've gathered from other writers was about showing, rather than telling, readers what is happening. That would be the difference between "Joe Blow was angry" and "Joe Blow slammed his fist on the table." I've had to rewrite a lot to get more material to be shown rather than told.

Other advice concerned head-hopping, which some may find annoying if you write from the omniscient point of view. True, there are several popular novels that utilize that tactic, but for some, it can be difficult to follow the story. I found myself using third-person limited for my book, as I had several points of view I wanted to get across. I will say that, in reading my draft, third-person limited was more effective than omniscient.

Another piece of advice was that it's best to use the word "said" rather than adjectives such as "shouted," "exclaimed" or "retorted." As the advice went, one can tell how somebody is saying something by the words in the quote. That's not really different from how I have written for newspapers, in which "said" is the word most commonly used with quotes, with few exceptions.

Of course, how literary works are written has changed over time. Who knows, there may be a time in which omniscient point of view becomes more popular.

In the meantime, I can tell you that I have edited 24 chapters of my first book with six more to go. I will promise you this: Once I've finished that editing, I will tell you more details about the book, not just teasing you with things.

I won't be doing any work tomorrow, because I'll be attending the Weird Al Yankovic concert. Gotta have time for fun, after all. Also, there's a writer's group in Wichita, and I'm seriously thinking about attending a meet-and-greet with authors that will take place a week from Friday.

I'll have more on Thursday about writers who influenced me.

1 comment:

  1. Saw Weird Al in Cleveland- fantastic concert; hope you have a great time!

    Regarding "said" instead of other words- I understand what you're saying. On the other hand, when I listen to books on CDs, hearing "She said", "He said" stands out in a way that I don't notice while reading the book.