Sunday, February 14, 2016

0 Best of AYAP: Editing

So much writing advice focuses on the actual writing -- there are many conversations about writing without editing, keeping your butt in the chair, about decisions made during the writing process. When that first, purely creative draft is done though... then it's time to edit.

Edits can change stories in massive ways. Teasing threads, embellishing plot lines, pulling everything tightly together. There are a slew of wonderful articles below, all written to help you find your best editing process and make that manuscript shine. Enjoy!

On the Creative vs Analytical Stages

"You’ve written the story. You’ve edited it. You’ve sent it off to beta readers. [But the suggestions aren't] tweaks. They’re major flaws in the story: exit the creative stage, and enter the analytical stage." - Julie Musil

On Working With an Editor

"It can be scary when you start working with an editor, but it doesn’t need to be. The most important thing you can do is learn from the experience and let it help you grow as a writer. In the end, it will be worth it." - Stina Lindenblatt

On Superfluous Words

"I've noticed some words and phrases that creep up recurrently and weaken my prose—and I'm not alone in this! I see these in unpublished writing (and the occasional published work) all the time." - Tracy Gold

On the Fun of Editing

"This is how I feel about editing: It’s like doing the dishes after a party, like sweeping up stray pieces of popcorn, like hauling garbage to the curb. I’m sure there are people out there who enjoy all those tasks; I’m just not one of them." - Skylar Dorset

On Reverse Outlining

"When I changed how I approach revisions, I not only sped up my revision process, but my revisions felt like they were actually working for me. I think that’s key!" - Katherine Locke

On Keeping Going

"Working on a book can take years. We create the first draft, revise, edit, incorporate more changes from critique partners’ suggestions, perhaps hire an editor and edit some more, and finally polish it to perfection. When a publisher says yes, we breathe a sigh of relief. We’re done! Not so fast. Done? Hardly–we’ve only just begun." - Alex J. Cavanaugh

On Loving Revisions

"What is the point of your book? What is its “North Star”? Whenever you feel frustrated or distracted during revisions, it helps to have clarity on the emotional core—the heart—of the manuscript." - Elizabeth Langston

On Cutting Your Novel

"In the beginning, I’ll admit, it was hard to kill my darlings. Really hard. As time went on, it became far easier to whack into a manuscript. Too easy, at times." - Holly Schindler

On Micro Level Revision

"WAIT! Hold the presses! That manuscript is actually not quite ready. Be sure you’ve done that final spit, polish and ***sparkle***. Here are a few tips to infuse it with professional polish. I’ve created a list for you to check off as you go through your manuscript once or twice more before hitting SEND." - Kimberly Griffiths Little

On Listening to Your Story

"Read your manuscript out loud. Listen to what sounds off, what sounds good, what sounds just plain cray-cray. This is really good advice. Great even. But this post today is not about reading your manuscript out loud. Not really. This post is about the performance of your manuscript." - Martina Boone

What do you think? Was there any advice that particularly resonated with you? Any posts you think we've missed that should be on this list?

Want to read the rest of the series? Click here!

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