Thursday, May 27, 2010

Editing Your Novel? A Round-Up of Some Good Advice

I'm always fascinated with how other writers revise, edit, and otherwise beat their manuscripts into submission. Trying to make more than 80,000 words all make sense is a tough task indeed. If you are looking for a little help, don't miss some of these great posts about editing:

Three Stages of Revision
This excellent post is by Natalie Whipple, a YA writer. It was a huge relief to read this and realize I was trying to do way too much in one round of edits.

Line Editing in 10 Easy Steps
By David Louis Edelman, if you want to really sharpen your prose, check this post out.

Dialogue is Not Necessarily How We Talk
By Heidi Thomas. Great breakdown of what to watch for in writing dialogue.

A Critique on Keeping Verb Tenses Consistent
This is an actual critique by D'Ann Mateer of a piece of writing. It does a great job of showing how writing can be strengthened, rather than just telling you how to do it.

Oh, That's Subtle
This post by Janice Hardy points out how just one word can mean the difference in a piece of writing that works or falls flat. Complete with examples.

Three Simple Stages of Self-Editing
By Jody Hedlund (whose blog you should definitely follow, btw). She explains the difference between substantive edits, line editing, and copyediting and what to look for in each one.

Use Wordle to Check for Meaningless Words
By Carrie Heim Binas, this explains how using a Wordle "word cloud" on your writing can reveal which words you prominently use. I found this technique pretty fascinating.

On a personal note, I'm happy to report that I'm diving back into my novel again. It requires me getting up at 5:30 a.m., but if that's the only way to keep it going then that's what has to be done. I'm also headed off to St. Simon's Island for a much anticipated vacation. I love Nashville, but I need to step away for a bit and reset everything. Have a great Memorial Day!


  1. Thanks for the posts. Will definitely check them out! Good for you for diving into your novel again. I really need to try to wake up earlier also.

    Have a wonderful vacation!

  2. Thank you, Ashley! I'm not an early AM person, but the songbirds near my window are trying to make me one. :)

  3. Hey, Lisa! Thanks for mentioning my post! Glad to hear you're back into your novel again! Have a wonderful and relaxing vacation!

  4. No problem, Jody! Thank YOU for providing such great content! :)

  5. I'll have to check out these posts! Revision is always challenging and the more techniques to borrow from the better. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for the links! I plan on finishing my rough draft to my WIP in about a month, so this post has come at the right time!

  7. Thank you for a wonderful post. I am writing my first book and trying to get my head around editing. I am up to Draft #2 but from what I read in your post I have a few more drafts to go! Thanks for an insightful post - I found it very helpful!

  8. Thanks for posting the links. I just posted on my blog two weeks ago about my own revision process and I look forward to looking at how others are going about their revisions. I've used Wordle before and it's definitely an insightful tool to use in the revision process.

  9. Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments. This is definitely a long journey; it's nice to know I'm in good company. I love to hear how other writers handle their "process." Take care and have a great weekend.