Thursday, April 22, 2010

I love editing - Part 2

Last week we talked about how to start editing: Look at the big picture stuff. For those who missed the first post, you can check it out here.

Once you've got your big picture items taken care of - POV, plot, characters - you can start "prettying it up," as Sally Bradley puts it.

This means to do things like trim unneccessary words, delete speaker tags cluttering up your dialogue (he said, she said), and get as much backstory out as you can.

This is also a good time to work on balancing out your balance of dialogue and prose. I'm a "dialogue heavy" kind of writer. During this stage of editing, I spend time sprinkling in actions, descriptions, and emotions amidst the dialogue. If you're the opposite, you'll spend more time getting the story between the quotes.

Something Sally brought up in my session with her was the idea of working in scenes. At this stage of editing, since you've already taken care of all/most those big picture things, you can now take it scene by scene. This will help you to make sure each scene has a purpose, is tightly written, and packs the kind of punch you want.

I'll be back on Tuesday answering questions. If you have one in the meantime, shoot me an e-mail.

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