I’ve been on a bit of an editing kick after finishing the first draft of my second novel, MONA and giving my first book another look. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Browne and King has been one of the best finds of this year. I would highly recommend this book to every person who has written or wants to write a book. It is written in a way that keeps you interested, engaged, and learning all the while.
Some of the topics include: Showing not Telling; Characterization and Exposition; Point of View; Dialogue Mechanics; See How it Sounds; Interior Monologue; Beats; Proportion; The Sounds of Sophistication; and Voice.
Even though I felt like I knew most of these writing do’s and don’ts, it was helpful to have them laid out in this way. I attended the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference this past May and one of the courses I took was based on this book. It was a two part class that covered this book in it’s most basic forms (everything you can fit into two hours). It’s taken me this long to get around to reading it, but I’m thankful I did. It was a good refresher from the conference. It’s chock full of examples, mini-exercises, break-downs of what is and isn’t acceptable, comparisons, and real advice from people who have been in the business a lot longer than any of us. I do think many of you will appreciate the appendix filled with answers to all of the exercises as well as the quick reference index. In case you forget something and want to find it quickly.
At the end of it all, I feel like even though I was confident in many of these topics – Now I’m even more confident knowing I was right about my editing choices. I’ve bought copies for several writers in my life and I encourage you pick up your own today.
A must read for every writer!