Tag Archives: editing advice from authors

E is for Editing | #AtoZChallenge

I’ve already given you one post with the basics of editing. I want to give you more good advice, but not from my mouth. I get tired of hearing my voice. I wanted to hear what others have to say. These are all writers who aren’t famous (yet), but are probably where you are today. They get it. The blood, sweat, coffee stained tears (or tea as the case may be). The late nights, confusing word choices, and moments where a character seems to have just popped into a draft like a party crasher.
What are you doing here Greg?! I didn’t invite you. You don’t even know anybody here! Why did you just appear for like five chapters. GTFO Greg! 
Where was I? Oh yes. Not losing it.
Right.
kill your darlings

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

Here are some quotes on editing for friends of mine who have been in the editing woods and know what it’s like. (Most of them also attend my tweetchat #writestuff, which happens every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT or have joined the Facebook group. You could do that too. It’s nice there. We have cookies.)
These authors write a  variety of genres, but I think editing transcends categories. Their advice will resonate for you. Be sure to visit them at their websites and give them a hello.

K.M Vanderbilt, Website

Let it rest. Come at it again with fresh eyes and you’ll see more places for improvement. alternately… If seeking outside critique, be open to suggestions and percieved flaws. Even if you meant to write something one way, if you’ve missed your mark, it’s not so much about changing your vision, but about how you present it to your reader.

Jeremy Denton, Website

Don’t feel bad for taking things out! You may be removing things but never discard them completely. They may be exactly what you need in a future story.

 

M.A. Kropp, Website

Editing is hard. It’s hard to pull away far enough to cut and rewrite. Just remember that the final story will be stronger for it.

 Clare Argippina, Website

 Cutting a character may feel like betraying a friend, but what remains will be so much stronger you won’t miss them in the long run.

Amy Tasukada, Website 

My big advice would be don’t always edit at the (first) part in the story. Mix it up and edit from the middle or the end first.

Natalie Westgate, Website 

Don’t treat your work as precious – cut what needs to be cut, change things around, and it doesn’t have to all be perfect in one edit.

Stevie Rae Causey, Website

Change the font before you self-edit. It tricks your brain into thinking its new material. It’s easier to lol critically at the new rather than the familiar.

 

Kevin Wayne Williams, Website

Take it seriously, and have someone else do much of it. Retain creative control, but editing is a separate skill. Pay for it if you haven’t got a skilled relative to abuse, but don’t even consider skipping it.

 Alexandra Penn, Website

Read your work aloud to yourself when you need to line-edit, since it means you can’t skim.

I hope these bits of advice gave you a bit more insight into the editing process. Karen Beidelman said it best, “Editing is harder than I ever expected.” You took the words right out of my mouth, Karen, as I sit here, pretty sure I’ll never stop editing Blood Roses and Honeysuckles.
Which piece of advice did you feel the most? Do you have any advice you’d like to share? Let me know down in the comments!
Also…
sprint announcement

Aloha, y’all! 

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