Editing


The last part of my OCA course is regarding editing *groan*

Why do I hate it so much? My palms get sweaty, my mouth goes dry….well, ok, perhaps it’s not that bad but, I do tend to avoid it. I never know exactly where to start 😦 The OCA has given me this handy little list to use while I’m editing, although I have added a couple of my own tips. Perhaps I need to print it out and stick it on my wall lol

1. Put the piece away for a relative period of time. A short story for 10-15 days, a novel for 6 weeks or more.

2. Retrieve it. On reading through try to think of it as someone else’s piece of work, try to be objective.

3. Read through. Have a highlighter pen and a red pen to hand. Use the highlighter to build your confidence by highlighting things you like, the good bits.

4. Use the red pen for:
Anything that makes you cringe.
Adjectives, adverbs, abstract nouns or cliches you spot.
Too many metaphors or similes.
Dialogue that does not flow or sounds stilted.
Characters that seem one dimensional.
Search for places where you “told” rather than “showed”.
Search for drama, have you got enough conflict?
Spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

Look back over the highlighted sections. Sometimes it is necessary to tighten up the parts you liked best.

Put the work away for a couple of days.

Redraft and read the new version. If it feels smoother and more dramatic, call it quits, if not, start the process again.

Give it to someone else to read. Ask them not only to critique the story, but to point out any mistakes they may find.

Read it aloud.

Well, that all seems very easy…..now, where did I put those Stabilo’s 😉

Forgot to say *grins stupidly* I’ve been chosen as a giver for World Book Night on April 23rd 🙂 I got my first choice, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens even though I’ve never read it (I will now). My reasoning behind choosing the Dickens is because of where I live 😉 Dickens loved Rochester. He wanted to be buried here, in the grounds of the castle, but when he died Queen Victoria overruled his wish 😦

So I am thoroughly looking forward to giving the locals free copies of one of his books 🙂

Yesterday’s prompt was a real hard one 😦 I did a bit of investigation and discovered that the quote came from Rimbaud’s poem entitled Bottom. Its to do with Shakespeare’s Bottom character from A Midsummer Nights Dream and is about the loss of love….I was a bit stumped lol, but then I came up with the start of a short story. A guy who’s ex is due round to get her stuff, opens the front door and is hit over the head by someone. As he lays on the floor barely conscious, all he can see are shadows.

Todays prompt is stolen goods so that should be interesting 😉

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8 thoughts on “Editing

  1. I used the highlighter to highlight sections and then rewrite them on a post-it note. Sometimes it even happened. You just have to be completely ruthless. Like, imagine yourself as the Evil Queen of words. With your red pen o’ doom.

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