As many of your already know, I am in the midst of editing and re-editing (and then editing some more) my soon-to-be-released book, Cheeper. I have good news, though–I believe that I am currently going through the manuscript for the last time before I will begin publication!
Let me be honest: I don’t like editing. I love to read. I learned at an early age to skim-read in order to get to the interesting parts of stories faster. For those of you who don’t possess this handy skill, skim-reading means that your eyes quickly skim along the lines, picking out only the main words in the text for context, while your brain fills in the details. While this is an excellent way to quickly reach the climax of an exciting story, it also has a downside: It makes it so that I rarely see mistakes in the text. It’s as if my brain has auto-correct on, so that grammatical and spelling errors in the text register in my mind the way they should be written.
I am very thankful for friends and family members who have been willing and able to read over my manuscript and edit it with their more fine-tuned eyesight. However, I still have do editing myself. Accordingly, I am always on the lookout for good editing tips.
This month I came across some extremely helpful editing articles. I would like to share them with you, since they just plain interesting, even if you’re not a writer or an editor.
The first has to do with writing in a way that will draw your readers in and help them live your story, instead of accidently allowing your writing to hold your readers aloof. The trick: Deep Character Point-of-View. Here is Part 1 & Part 2 of “Deep Character Point-of-View” by author Jaye L. Knight.
The second two articles deal with “Said Bookisms.” In some ways, these ideas go against what we’ve all learned in school–“Use descriptive words! Don’t use the word went when you can use meandered. Don’t use said when you can use exclaimed.” Consequently, descriptive words are far too overused, especially when it comes to “said” and writing dialogue. Here are two articles that helped me to see my own errors in this area. The first is by Margo Lerwill and the second by D. B. Jackson.
Maybe in my next post I’ll give examples from my own manuscript of how I am putting these different principles into use!