Monday, February 1, 2016

It's Go Time!

(I'm writing this blog on an old dinosaur computer, so forgive me if there are no pretties or I don't respond to comments right away...)

Are you ready? Time to edit! Cut! Revise! Throw out! Scrap! Cross out!

And bleed a little.. (ink...)

I thought the following article on words that should be banned was perfect. (I was going to say 'spot on' but that's become a cliché.) Go here to see Lake Superior University's picks for words we all now hate (but too many people still use).  After your chuckle, make a note to check your manuscript for these types of words; they're overused, slangy, and usually incorrect or non-existent if you subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary (although some of their entries leave me scratching me head. Just because a lot of people use it doesn't make it a valid word in my mind, but that's another blog.).

And, here are a few more resources to help you edit:

5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing by C.S. Lakin

Showing and Telling in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy

Revision and Self Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell

And to add to your already long list of Things to Look For:

Tension- Is it there, do you have enough, is it sustained?

Genre- is it the right one? Are adults telling your YA story?

World building- can people believe that your fantasy world, whether sci fi, folktale, historical, magical, etc. is real by the details you provide or are we asked to just 'believe?'

Because my laptop is on the critical list, I'll be working on a printed out draft that has already been marked up (this should be fun). I know of one critical flaw- that runs through the entire book (yeah, why didn't I see that coming?) so I know it's going to be a long, agonizing, hair-pulling job. But we're in this together, right?

Going by the NaNoWriMo guidelines, if our book is 50,000 words, we would need to edit about 1,724 words a day (Luckily this is a leap year and we have 29 days.) That is roughly 7 pages a day to finish by the 29th. (This might or might not be harder than writing 7 pages a day....)

So good luck! Don't fret! It'll all work out! And you HAVE TO DO THIS, so no backing out. Even if you don't finish by the 29th, KEEP GOING.

And let's cheer each other along.


Image courtesy of Google Images

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