Thursday, 10 December 2009

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers - Book Review

As an aspiring writer, I occasionally read book on how to improve my work. This one was suggested to me by a co-worker and it is fabulous. Authors Renni Browne and Dave King go into detail about the major mistakes novice writers tend to make. These are things they, as editors, often ask their clients to change before a novel is ready for publication. Each section has numerous examples through which they explain what's wrong and how to fix it. The chapters all end with point form notes of things to look for in your own writing and exercises to practice what you (hopefully) learned.

The Table of Contents is as follows:
1. Show and Tell
2. Characterization and Exposition
3. Point of View
4. Proportion
5. Dialogue Mechanics
6. See How it Sounds
7. Interior Monologue
8. Easy Beats (points of action between lines of dialogue)
9. Breaking up is Easy to Do (paragraphing)
10. Once is Usually Enough (avoiding unnecessary repetition)
11. Sophistication
12. Voice

I found the earlier chapters the most useful (perhaps this is a commentary as to where my writing currently stands). I would highly recommend Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to edit yourself into print for anyone who wants to become a better writer.

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