Tuesday, September 07, 2010
What I'm learning from a Professional Edit
I have moments when I want to scream at the monitor (what do you mean Why again?) and give up writing forever. Going over edits and doing rewrites from a professional editor is not for the thin-skinned indeed.
I thought I had most of the biggies down. Come to find out—I don’t. So I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned thus far about writing. I warn you. It isn’t pretty.
1. Too many Similes. Oh and I thought I was writing pretty when I said his Adams apple bobbed like a yo-yo. I thought the more I used the more creative I was— like writing literary style. Wrong. They clutter the writing and sometimes don’t even go with the character and what they know.
2. Heavy on the stage directions. My characters like to tip their head, or lean closer or frown or raise their brows a little too much in some scenes rather than let the dialogue or action do it.
3. Put events in order as they happen. This should be an easy one—I’m logical, after all. But how many sentences did she point out where I said, “She smiled when she saw him coming across the yard.” Instead of—“When he came across the yard, she smiled at him.” Logical, right? Should be.
4. Fragments. Oh, I have pure romance with these. Love short fragments. My voice. My style. Me. Wrong. They get a little annoying when there are too many. And yeah, watch the repeating and rhyming words. My My.
5. Those crying blues. The Tears. My MC is quite the sobbing whiner and I didn’t even realize what a turn-off that is. Who wants to cheer her on when those tears shine and glitter and sparkle and roll down her cheeks so much?? Not me or the reader for sure. So I get that part now.
6. Let the reader see what the character sees. I’d have someone walk into a store, start talking to a clerk and the reader has no clue what they see—is it a man or a woman or an old lady or a hot looking creature. I didn’t give much of a clue and it is disorientating.
I’ve lost 1000 words already and I am not even half-way through. Is this fun? Ask my husband. Not. (so allow me this fragment please.)
But yes, I will grudgingly admit, my book is a whole lot better already.
Stay tuned. More to come. Hopefully, I will have a book left when I’m done.
So have I scared you away yet from taking that next step?
I hope not. Are you as guilty as me in any of these areas?