Thursday, March 8, 2012

Editing Tips and Other Writing Tips

    As you can probably tell from the title ^, I am going to be talking about editing. Whether that be editing your manuscripts for a short story, poem, or novel.
    Okay, so, if you've been keeping yourself updated on the status of my novel, which I have yet to decide on a name but is currently titled The Paradox, then you know that I am in the process of editing it. (Bleh!)
    And if you're anything like me, then you HATE editing as well. Yes, I do hate it. It is a tedious process. One that I actually tried to prevent from occurring. At one point during my writing of the manuscript, I actually decided to go back and edit as I wrote, but that doesn't really work. Because for me, at least, things in my book gradually changed.
    Therefore, I was unable to keep from editing. Though, had things remained unchanged, I would've had to go back and edit anyway, for grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure purposes.
    I have actually found that there are more things that I have rewritten than I expected. However, the main story's concept has remained the same. (Don't you worry. I'm not changing things up. ;)
    Anyhoo, back to editing tips. :)
    One important thing to always remember (I got this as a tip myself and it is very helpful) is if you have been trying to make your writing fancy... don't. Such as, if you go "He Pondered", "He suggested", "She surmised", etc... don't. Stick with the He-said She-said complex. It will keep your readers focused on what is going on. Your goal as a writer is to fully immerse them into your story. However, for some writers, using beautiful and graceful prose can put the reader in awe. So, if you plan to be an extreme writer, then, by all means, prose away! ;) (Yes, I know that was dorky)
    Description. Ah, yes. The one thing that has worried me from the start. "Am I being descriptive enough?" Ask yourself that. You don't want to confuse your reader or make them have to return to a certain spot and reread it. That:
1) distracts them from immersion into your story
2) frustrates them because they are having trouble getting the picture
    Your goal as a writer is to paint a picture for your readers.
    As for editing, always remember the story you have written. One problem that I've come across is that in the span of my "writer's blocks" I have forgotten some of what I had integrated into my story. So one thing you might want to do is write down the main points of your story that you CANNOT forget. Also, an even better tip would be to avoid writer's blocks at all costs. :)
    When you're editing keep an eye out for typos or wrong sentence structure. In a single paragraph, try not to use the name of the person whose POV (point of view) you are using more than two or three times. Also, make sure that single paragraphs aren't monstrous. The point of paragraph breaks is to give your reader's eyes a rest. If it is just one long, continuous paragraph, then eventually your reader will either get lost or tired or both. Give 'em a break! The maximum number of lines you should have your paragraph be is seven (7).
    One other thing you want to consider when writing is SHOW don't TELL. You want to "paint a picture" of what is happening, you don't want to just tell them what is happening.
    So, as I digress, I leave you with this: IMMERSE YOUR READER IN YOUR STORY! Make them feel like they are not just watching the plot unfold, but like they are part of the plot.

God bless you as you continue on the Hidden Path,

BTW, here is a great website that you can go to for some more writing tips:

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I don't mind editing much. Maybe it was because I edited without thinking, right after I wrote something. I guess it's like homework; you can choose to like it even if it gets annoying at times.
    I normally use my character's name every other sentence(I think it isn't very noticeable. When you write, "John went to the counter and washed his hands. John looked out the window", it's a lot more noticeable.
    Showing and telling brings about another discussion; story and narrative styles. Narrative is like telling a story, how the characters are, without showing their thoughts or using dialogue or the character's action in certain situations. Like writing, "Now, John was very honest. In fact, ...."
    And that is the narrator telling the reader, so it is like telling and showing that you were talking about.
    But I think it's okay to tell a story in narrative(with the narrator - you - talking to the reader) as long as that's the style of writing you want to have.
    Showing makes the narrator silent for the whole book and shows, like a movie.
    But no matter whether or not you want to be an active narrator in your story or not, you do need to show instead of tell some things - like, don't write, "She fell down and was hurt."
    This is a loose example of showing. "She tripped over the log. When she landed, her heel twisted in pain. She grimaced."
    So I think that every writer needs to decide whether or not they will be a narrator that tells the story, or the silent person in the back of the theater that rolls the film. In the book the Tale of Desperaux, there is narrative. It is like someone is telling the story. But it is a style that is enjoyable, and some things are still showed instead of told.
    I hope that was helpful.