Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Self-Editing One Step at a Time

When I put together a set of handouts for a self-editing class I gave at the Northern Colorado Writers Studio last summer, I had no idea how useful that handout would be over time. First of all, I follow the process when I work on my own novels. Secondly, I turned the handout into a series of blog posts for The Blood-Red Pencil so others could see what I've learned from my excellent editor, Denise Dietz of Tekno Books (the company that acquires manuscripts for Five Star).

I've been wanting to put the links to the various posts in one place, so I plan to add the series to my blog's sidebar and my website. Here are the posts for Self-Editing One Step at a Time:

1. Charting the Novel Story Arc

2. How to Identify Dragging Narrative

3. Identifying and Eliminating Your Habit Words

4. Searching for More Silly Stuff

5. Weeding Out Unnecessary Adjectives and Adverbs

6. Cleaning Up Those Dialogue Tags

7. Analyzing Sentences for Redundancy and Wordiness

8. Fine-Tuning Sentence Structure

9. Read Your Manuscript Aloud

10. One Final Self-Editing Chore

There are quite a few posts about the self-editing process and many of these individual writing challenges at The Blood-Red Pencil. There is also a search feature at that blog, so entering a term such as "self-editing" or "adjectives" will help you isolate the posts that might help you the most.

I'm incorporating steps one and two into the revision phase of my novel. Once I have that completed, I'll be working my way through steps three through ten.

I know some of you are also working on revisions and self-editing. Is it going well?


Elspeth Antonelli said...

Thanks for these links, Patricia. I'm about to finish editing my short story, which has sat on a back burner for far too long.

Anonymous said...

These are awesome, thanks!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Thank you for posting these links...I'm going to post this article on my blog so that I can reference them later.


Karen Walker said...

Thanks for pulling all this together in one place, Patricia. So very helpful.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Thanks for the info! I can use that now as I'm in my hundreth (at least it seems that way) edit and revision of a (long) short story to enter into a contest. As I look back at the first writing I can hardly believe that it's now the same story that began!

Patricia Stoltey said...

It does help to have the links all in one place, doesn't it? Maybe I should also post this list at The Blood-Red Pencil as one of my monthly contributions.

No. 10 was one I didn't know about until my editor clued me in. There's always something new to make us crazy during the editing process.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I can’t wait to read all ten of these. I know I especially need “Identifying and Eliminating Your Habit Words.”

KarenG said...

Hi Patricia!

I came over from Ann's blog, (thanks for the link, Ann)-- these look good, I'll link to them on my sidebar if your don't mind, so I can read them at my leisure!


Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Patricia - just in the knick of time - what is the 'knick' of time or is it 'nick' of time which would mean it has something to do with the devil no doubt. Later.
Thanks again - I'm going to keep these handy somehow.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great list of links - thanks so much :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Ann and KarenG -- I'm happy to have you link to this post or put the Blood-Red Pencil links on your own blog. Thanks for doing that.

Kerrie said...

Pat--awesome list. Thanks for putting it together.

irishoma said...

Hi Patricia,
Thanks for all the helpful information.
Donna Volkenannt

Linda L. Henk said...

I echo sentiments from all the above writers: Thank you for putting these steps all in one place. Good writing this week, Pat.