Writer Groupie Episode 9-Editing
Welcome to the Writer Groupie podcast. I’m Kim Smith the writing guru bringing you discussions, insights, and insider details on how to plan, produce, promote and profit as a writer.
You can find out more info about Writer Groupie at https://www.kimsmithauthor.com
Welcome to the Writer Groupie Podcast.
If you would like more information about the show go to https://www.kimsmithauthor.com
Here we are at episode 9- who woulda thunk it?
And today I want to talk about editing. It’s what’s on my mind, and since you’re listening to this podcast, it might help you a little. So I’m editing a WIP that I hope will be out by the end of the year, and the things I’m finding (wrong!) are just amazing. Of course this story was written a long time ago, but I just can’t believe that it’s gone through TWO editors and I’m still finding things (wrong!).
The first thing you should do when you are sitting down to edit a work is to make sure that the words you are using are good words. (not like the ones I am using in this podcast!- it was between 5-6 am and I wasn’t quite awake.) So,structure your sentences so they make good sense. Eliminate those unnecessary things like I felt, I watched, he felt, he watched, it seemed. There are a bunch of them but if you start a sentence out with that you can usually go to the meat of the sentence and cut out all that extraneous beginning.
And I did a lot of that back in the day (woo hoo, I recognize my own mistakes!) and two editors didn’t catch it and I’m really shocked. And so I am having a good time editing this thing (yes, editing can be fun) I’m really tearing it up.
Another thing you can do when you’re editing is to think about reading the work backwards-from the back to the front instead of the other way round, because if you do that you’re not reading it as a story. Also, change the font in your manuscript. (These are some things I have heard from others who have found they work and I have tried them and they do). Change the font from what you normally use so that it looks different- this will make things stand out.
Another thing, read your manuscript out loud – this will bring problems out quickly. And believe me, if it stops you from reading, it will stop a reader.
A lot of times when we are writing we can’t see the forest for the trees (Ha! that is a cliche, folks!!!) and we go along, getting really long- winded and when you’re finished, give it a little break, and then go back to edit and re-read what you wrote. You will see how you can rewrite it and make it more concise. I am the worst at chunky writing. I throw everything and the kitchen sink (another cliche!) into the scene and then when I edit, I draw a whole lot of that out.
Also, what I am working on now, is character development. On the first run through, usually your characters are a little stilted. You have an idea of what you want them to do and say but on an edit you can really bring that out.
And don’t forget to get rid of pet words. My critique partners are good at this. Sometimes I will have one word that runs rampant in a scene or paragraph or chapter. Like the word walk. He walked to the cabinet and got a can of soup and walked to the sink to open it then he walked to the stove and dumped it into a pan. (horrible example but at 5 am whatdya think?) You see what I’m saying? When we are writing first draft we just don’t see that stuff. That’s where having an extra set of eyes on your work is very very helpful.
Sometimes the critique partner can be a very very good thing. I have several and I really enjoy our time together *first* and then they are really good at catch my problem children, the things I don’t do well.
Another thing to think about is using pet phrases. *(oh boy here we go)* that you probably use a lot in language when you are talking to people (like on a podcast!) but when a reader reads it they see it as being a tired sort of phrase. Another word for tired phrase is CLICHED. (And I try hard to give an example here but fail utterly) Two in the hand are worth two in the bush. (Um NO? A BIRD in the hand is worth TWO in the bush. Sigh. Sorry )
You can go online and do a search for cliched phrases and get a big old list. I hope you will. I am terrible with them. So if you find any in my work (or podcast- or show notes) just ignore them.
And so it goes…