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InSickHealth
August 31st, 2010, 02:44 AM
I realized with my last story that I didn't give myself enough of a break between the first draft and the revisions, but I definitely could use any other advice and tips. Does anyone have any words to live by or things that they find most useful to keep in mind when you are revising?

caelum
August 31st, 2010, 03:10 AM
Less is more is a pretty good writing maxim. Deleting superfluous sentences and clauses. I find it hard to resist the temptation to add more in subsequent drafts, though I notice now that from the first to the final drafts, I generally lose fifteen percent. Bloated language is such agony to read.

Jon M
August 31st, 2010, 03:55 AM
I don't know if you've ever read Stephen King's On Writing (recommended), but he mentions a tip he got early on in his career by an editor. It went something like 2nd Draft = 1st Draft minus 10%. I try to follow that advice in my own writing.

Olly Buckle
August 31st, 2010, 09:46 AM
I wrote this this morning and was thinking about where to put it, I know it doesn't exactly fit but ...

Looking through the Introduction board I keep seeing comments from new members along the lines of ‘I am hoping to pick up some good tips’, so, tips on picking up tips.
Good writing tips may not always be posted in your threads: Read other people’s work and the comments made, when some one says something you consider more useful than average note who they are. By clicking on their name you will get to their profile page on the left hand side of which you will find a series of options, including ‘find all posts’. People who give one good crit usually give others.
Giving crit. leads to receiving it:
This is true, sometimes as direct reciprocation, sometimes because you are seen as an active member and so of interest. It can also be quite daunting at first, reading through the comments of others helps you to decide what is and is not worth saying. On the other hand saying “I do not have any comment other than I enjoyed reading this” may not be of direct use to the author, but it is encouraging to know your work is being well received.
If someone does comment on your work and finds many faults do not be completely discouraged, they are unlikely to point out the good bits, on the other hand they are unlikely to bother giving crit to a hopeless case. They may not say so but they probably saw some potential in it to have bothered.
Learn to apply your critical thinking to all sorts of writing, as you read books, newspapers, magazines, even road signs apply any new skills you acquire to reading them. Your critical ability is like a muscle, the more you use it the better it works.

The Backward OX
August 31st, 2010, 10:42 AM
Learn to apply your critical thinking to all sorts of writing, as you read books, newspapers, magazines, even road signs apply any new skills you acquire to reading them. Your critical ability is like a muscle, the more you use it the better it works.

http://www.radargunsblog.com/uploaded_images/sign-745891.jpg

Taxiday
August 31st, 2010, 05:51 PM
I know this may sound simple but do a Google search on Editing and Revising.

JosephB
September 1st, 2010, 11:51 AM
Here's how to edit: Take out all the things that aren't working, make the things that are left better, or add more good things. Repeat until satisfied.

garza
September 1st, 2010, 12:14 PM
JB - That sounds like how the sculptor turned a huge block of marble into a beautiful statue of an elephant. He took away everything that didn't look like an elephant.

Your advice to 'Take out all the things that aren't working...' is probably the best advice on revising and editing anyone could give. Reading, practising writing, and talking about writing with others will teach a person to tell the difference between what works and what should be fed to the turtle.

Joe Moore
September 1st, 2010, 09:54 PM
I wrote about editing and revision at the Kill Zone blog last year. Take a look. Hope it helps: The Kill Zone: Slice and Dice your work (http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2009/04/slice-and-dice-your-work.html)

thewordsmith
September 3rd, 2010, 11:42 PM
It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.
~Robert Southey

A tip from literary agent Donald Maass: print a copy of your manuscript and toss all the pages into the air. Pick them up all helter-skelter and proof and edit them in whatever order they happen to fall. That way, you are reading for content, style, etc. and not getting lost in reading the story.

A tip from me: Read out loud. It's amazing how many errors, mis-steps, and typos you can discover that way.




There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~ Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

(When you quote another author, always give credit where due.)