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review 2016-10-21 10:19
Revision & Self-Editing Review
Revision & Self-Editing: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft Into a Finished Novel - James Scott Bell

Perfect for beginners

Let me just start by saying that this book would be ideal for writers who have no experience writing. Why do I say this? Because the first half of the book is dedicated to small summaries of how you could (should maybe) write and examples of plot etc. (the basics). I’m not saying the first half is useless, but I didn’t find anything new in there, and it wasn’t that relevant to the title of the book (a little misleading).



I like Bell’s tone throughout the book. He has an excellent voice and is easy to read and understand. He clearly states whose books you should emulate (to become a best seller) and gives examples of say opening lines or paragraphs from Stephen King or other thriller writers. I guess this book wasn’t directed to fantasy audiences as I noticed most of the examples he quoted were thrillers.



I would go as far as to say I found his revision techniques at odds with my own (but it’s good to see and experiment with them). Unfortunately for this review, I can’t quote off the top of my head what he suggested. But I remember him writing that revision for your first book should take a while and that your first draft is utter crap. I guess he expects all authors just to write down uninhibited what they think the story should be, or how it should go. My first draft was crap, but not that far out from what I expected as I had planned the story from the beginning. So, I haven’t been able to use his techniques for revision. I think he also suggested you have a log of all that your character says, so you can keep it consistent. Well, I appreciate that would work, that’s a bit too far out of the scope for how I want to revise.



If you want techniques for revision, this book does have them (just in the second half). I would recommend you get this book out on loan if possible. Bell has an easy to read and conversational style that will keep you reading through the book. The only thing I find is that the title is a little misleading.

Source: www.amaitken.com/book-review/revision-self-editing-review
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url 2016-09-16 12:22
How To Self-Edit Your Book And Avoid Common Story Mistakes With Harry Dewulf

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review 2015-01-16 02:13
If you're a writer, but not so good with editing, this should be top of your book wishlist
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print - Renni Browne,Dave King Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a great book that covers the basics of editing your own work, or that of others, and how to apply those skills. Having been involved with editing and writing for a number of years, the book didn't offer me anything ground-breaking, but it did reaffirm my love of editing and brought to the forefront of my brain, the things to keep in mind when reading and reviewing a piece of writing. The book gives you plenty of examples of poor writing, mediocre writing and some fantastic writing. It hacks apart some of the greats, and showcases some works by authors unknown. I found the snippets that were edited two or three times in the book to be the most impressive. It really gave meaning to what the book was trying to say. Seeing the process in one paragraph of text really pushed the ideas home and solidified them in my mind. Not really one on rules, this book is written in the hope it will guide you towards better writing. If you're a writer but not so good with editing, this should be top of your book wishlist. P.S. It got my 'editing required' shelf because there's some shockers these pages.
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text 2014-09-22 09:06
Editing Tips

A few days ago YA Fanatic posted that she'd finished the first draft of her novel. In this post she asked if anyone had tips on editing. I responded in the comments but then realised the comment was going to be ginormous and so I ended up saying that I'd make a post instead.


What follows is my own personal method for editing. After a decade+ of editing my own work and digging around for advice from other writers, I think most can agree that many of these steps are necessary. You don't have to follow all of them and you should find your own order. I'm still working on perfecting this system and that process will probably never end. If you are a writer, please leave your own methods and experience down in the comments. :)


I'm adding a short description below because this post is HUGE. I've run out of time and, as hilarious as it is with this being about editing, I don't have time to edit this post before I leave on Monday. Such is life! Also, apologies for how 'know-it-all' this post might come off as. I spent so many years writing technical FAQs for websites (and working tech support) that I developed an odd voice I'm not quite fond of.


There are three major steps in editing. Developmental, structural and professional. Revising can take twice as long as it took you to write your first draft. Hang in there. Good luck!


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review 2014-02-27 05:28
The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers by Bridget McKenna
The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers - Bridget McKenna

I first read this on the author's website last year as I was trying to motivate myself to start my second (or third?) revision on a novel I wrote that was at 140k words that I needed/wanted to dwindle down to 90-100k words. I was planning on shipping this off to a copy editor too, so I also wanted to get it in well enough shape so that the manuscript would not be returned/rejected with an angry note.


I really -really- hate editing... but the tips I found on this website were refreshing. She approaches giving advice in a way that makes it sound like fun, her attitude comes off like how a friend would speak and not like some snooty tooty know-it-all (I have a hard time reading non-fiction, so this helped me). Part 2 in her series is titled, "Vampire Verbs, Zombie Verbs, and Verbs that Kick Ass"... need I say more?


She offers up clear advice on what to look out for with examples... several great examples. She covers how to strengthen your writing and how to become more confident in your own voice (those blasted fish tails!), which I think is something new writers struggle with often. I don't want to give a run-down of what each part of the series is about... so I'm cutting this short with the following:


This book is great for beginners and even for those who are more seasoned but might need a little refresher course every now and then.


You can read parts 1-12 on her website for free, here:

Self-Editing for Everyone Part 1: The Most-Hated Writing Advice Ever



I forgot to mention why I gave this a 4 and not a 5. The e-book had some errors and considering it's a book about editing, I think it should have been put through a tougher inspection. Also, the website series has lots of pictures that go with the articles that made it more fun. The Kindle edition doesn't have any of those. :( Still, if you find the website helpful, buying the book helps let the author know you've appreciated her work. Yep. :P

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