The old adage „Every word counts“ still applies. Agents won’t plough throw waffle, nor will the reader. Easier said than done, though. If you’re an over-writer, which I am, a crucial part of editing is cutting through the creepers, making sure your plot and characters can dazzle and shine. How? Search your manuscript for those instants where you combined a speech tag “she said” with an action beat. “You’re a real jerk,” she said and tossed her hair. Either let her say it or let…Continue Reading “The Fiction Editing Files – On Writing Lean and Mean”

Welcome back! This blog continues the editing subject I started last week. This time, I’ll give you an example from my own novel (well, I would, wouldn’t I :-)). My offer still stands – I’ll give you a feedback on the first ten pages of your novel. They’re crucial. If you would like to take me up on the offer, subscribe to the blog and I will respond to your mail with an email address on where to send the PDF to. Or where you…Continue Reading “The Fiction Editing Files #3”

With quite a few extensive review loops under my belt (the reason this blog was so quiet for quite a while), I want to share my tactics, tricks and tips for successful self-editing. Ultimately, the principles and techniques needed for kneading your story into shape also apply to those of us who prefer to self-publish. Authors keen on self-publishing “simply” will have to add a couple of copy-editing and proof-reading rounds, to ensure their manuscripts survive the critical eye of the reader. For authors signed…Continue Reading “The Editing Files–getting your fiction manuscript ready for querying (and self-pubbing)”

In my Pet Peeves I’ll throw light on a wide variety of stylistic and plotting bloopers I come across when critiquing and editing. “Head-hopping” for me tops the list. It’s what I consider to be a pretty understated expression for a writing style guaranteed to bounce me out of a novel faster than you can write “she groaned”. Head hopping describes the practice of shifting viewpoint characters within scenes. I’ll give you an example, a scene featuring two viewpoint characters (i.e. the protagonists through whose…Continue Reading “Pet Peeves #1 – Bouncing heads and slippery Points of View”