Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into PrintEven though I think there's a need for a book that explains the basic "howto's" for beginner writers, this book had too many good "bad examples" and too many bad "good examples" to be objective. The authors seem to have their own fixed way of seeing good writing without making room for the stylistic variations that occur between genres. The give no leeway for different tastes either, and I'm afraid they'll force many new writers into boxedin space. They do state that the old version of this book has caused just that, but unfortunately I feel they have not removed the authoritative voicethe "we have all the truths" view on writingand therefore they will keep teaching writers the wrong way to edit. I.e. they teach writers to edit a story in a way that will make Browne and King like it. Luckily, not everyone in the world are Brownes and Kings.

In summary, the book does touch upon most problems that need to be addressed when editing but I suggest that you read their way of addressing them through sceptical glasses. I should have read this book seven years ago, which is when I bought it. I find nonfiction (and any story lacking the presence of aliens) difficult to focus on, though. Maybe I thought having it on my shelf, or the simple purchase, itself, would make me a better writer. I could look up at the spine now and again and say, “Yeah. I have that book. I’m a writer.”

I am a writer—anyone can be one of those. But according to this book, I’m not a very good one. Yet. I’ll get there, but it won’t be because I have such books lined up on my shelf keeping me company. Won’t be because I’ve read them, either. It will be because I kept writing, reading, recognizing my errors and working to fix them. Because I practiced.

I recently submitted a story to a publisher. To my astonishment and joy, they offered me a contract. Then they sent me four pages of first pass edit notes. Astonishment morphed into that squicky feeling at the bottom of my stomach and joy simply evaporated. I think I actually whined at my laptop. My editor referenced SelfEditing for Fiction Writers and suggested I read the first chapter. I looked up at my reference shelf and studied the row of shiny, uncracked spines. Yep, there it was. Pristine, perfect and pathetically untouched.

I read the first chapter (the squicky feeling in my gut revolved a few times while I seriously considered replying to my editor, “Why for the love of all that is holy did you buy my story? It’s CRAP!”) and then I read the second chapter. Aliens had not made an appearance by the third, but I kept reading and the sick feeling moved through several recognizable stages along the way. Mountains and valleys of elation and depression. I also babbled out loud. “So that’s what that’s called. Okay, I can do that. Oh, my God, I do that all the time. Hey, I can do that. I do do that. I don’t do that. I’m good at that.” And so on.

Needing to read this book made it a more relevant and therefore enjoyable experience. The tone is not condescending and the advice is dispensed with good humor. There are plenty of examples to make every point and every chapter is followed by a checklist and exercises. The lessons are very clear; I understood the purpose of each chapter and I understood why certain things don’t work or how they can be improved. I didn’t put the book down and think, “Forget it. I can’t do this.” I put the put book down and wrote this review instead.

Now I’m going to print out my story and work through it from beginning to end, using what I have learned. No doubt, it will be a soul crushing exercise. But I feel prepared to tackle it.
Self Editing How To Self Edit A Book With SpecificThe Three Different Types Of Verbal Read Throughs In Self Editing Reading For Structure Reading For Readability Reading For Grammar And Word Choice Each Read Through During Self Editing Should Be Done Out Loud Verbal Read Throughs For Self Editing Self Publishing School Teaches To Read Your Manuscript Out Loud To Yourself I Couldn T AgreeIt May Seem A Little Silly, But It S Much Easier To Find Errors The Topgolden Rules Of Self Editing The Writer The Topgolden Rules Of Self Editing Use These Self Editing Tips For Success Advertisement I Have Rewritten Often Several Times Every Word I Have Ever Published My Pencils Outlast Their Erasers Vladimir Nabokov One Of The Great Contradictions In The Writing World Is How Many Writers Assert That They Value The Written Word In Its Highest Form, Yet They Can T BeSelf Editing BasicsSimple Ways To Edit Your Self Editing A Great Way To Help Writers Save Money I Have Heard Many Writers Tend To Sign Checks For Their Works Polished They Say It S Hard To Revise One S Own Work But This Post Recommends To Rest The Manuscript So That The Book Almost Seems Like Someone Else Wrote It Editing IS Part Of Writing, And For Writers Who Find It Hard Should Learn, Instead Of Finding Editors For TheThe Best Self Editing Tips For Writers By Lynda Self Editing For Self Publishers Is Broken Into Three Distinct Parts Part I This Section Of The Book Explains Exactly What S Involved In Self Editing, From The Whole Concept Of It To The Mindset Tips For Self Editing Your Fiction Novel Just Self Editing Your Novel Is Difficult And Time Consuming, But These Tips Will Surely Help You Navigate The Self Editing Phase Before Sending Your Book To A Professional Editor Let Your Manuscript Rest Letting Your Manuscript Rest Is The Best Way To Jump Start The Next Phase Of The Writing Journey The Editing ProcessTips From Self Editing For Fiction WritersThe Secret To Editing Your Work Is Simple You Need To Become Its Reader Instead Of Its Writer Zadie Smith WriteIgnite SMaster Class With Joyce Moyer Hostetter Is Only A Month Away The WriteIgnite Team Has Suggested Checking Out Several Chapters Of Self Editing For Fiction Writers By Renni Browne And Dave King As A Way To Prepare For The Workshop How To Edit A BookChecklist And Tips For Self A Self Edit Is Pretty Self Explanatory It S An Edit Of Your Manuscript That You Conduct By Yourself If You Choose To Self Edit, It S Your Responsibility To Trim Your Prose, Spot Any Plot Holes, Refine Your Character Arcs, And Manage All Of The Other Elements That Go Into Editing A BookSelf Editing Tips For Indie Authors AndSELF EDITING TIPRead It Out Loud If You Only Take Away One Self Editing Tip, Make It This One Before You Publish Your Work, Or Submit Your Work To Agents, Print Out Your Entire Manuscript Single Sided, Double Spaced, Twelve Point Font Now Put Your Manuscript On A Table Or A Desk, Your Palms Flat On Either Side, And Read The Entire BookSelf Editing For Fiction Writers How To Edit YourselfYou Can Download Self Editing For Fiction Writers How To Edit Yourself Into Print In Pdf FormatManuscript Editing Software Programs Reviewed Automated Editing Is Not As Good As Human Editing, But It Is Probably A Good Idea To Get One Of These Programs To Make Some Obvious Corrections Before Sending Your Manuscript To An Editor These Programs Can Alert You To Overuse Of Adverbs, Clichs, Redundancies, Overlong Sentences, Sticky Sentences, Glue Words, Vague And Abstract Words, Diction, And The Misuse Of Dialog Tags, To Name Just I am a big selfeditor. I don't want a professional editor or even my writer's group to see my writing before it's as good as I can get it. I'm like that in all parts of my life. I clean the house before my house cleaner shows up so she never knows how messy I really am.

I have a long list of selfedits I go through (checking for passive, the use of 'was', repeated words, etc.), but I found a book I like called Self Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King. It covers everything one should look at in their mss in three different ways:

* Each chapter covers a multipage summary on how to do it
* Each chapter includes a checklist at the end to apply to your own writing
* Each chapter includes exercises to allow you to practice the skill if it's one that is difficult for you

When I first bought Browne and King's book, I read the entire thing. Not much new in it from what I already knew about writing (I have nine published books), but it did include everything I considered important to a welldeveloped story. Here's a partial list of the skills:

* Show and tell
* Characterization and exposition
* Point of View
* Dialogue mechanics
* Interior monologue
* Voice

Now that I know I can trust it, I go directly to the checklists, to make sure I'm doing each part correctly. For example, here's the Show and Tell Checklist:

* How often do you use narrative summary
* If there's too much narrative, convert some of it to scenes (that works well to speed up a plot and turn dull into dynamic. I love this item)
* Make sure there's enough narrative so you don't bounce from scene to scene
* Does narrative describe feelings? No good.

Overall, for the meticulous writer, this is a good book. My creative friends who want to write of the top of their heads and refuse to be constrained by protocols and rulesI'd skip this one. My second readthrough of this book. The first time I read it was when I started the editing process for my novel, A Confession. This readthrough is while I'm editing my upcoming novel, 'The Unfortunate Expiration of One Mr. David S. Sparks.' As I read it the first time I found quite a few useful tipsespecially for things to be conscious of in my own writing as I selfedited. And I firmly believe A Confession turned out all the better for it.

Now, as I edit my next novel, I've returned to this bookand am glad I did. Again I was reminded of a lot of things I need to watch for in my writing, things that are already making this next book considerably better as I go through the first round of edits. Sure, I learned quite a bit the first time throughand it's helped my first drafts require less work to clean. But still, after all the reminders and new highlights and notes from my last readthrough, I've decided that with each book I release I'll be revisiting this little guide.

Of course, nothing in here is completely revelatory. It's a guide of a lot of the basic things writers should be looking at and editing toward to make their work stronger, more readable, and still retain a strong personal voice. Ideas such as show vs. tell, dialogue mechanics and how to use beats effectively ... but they're all important aspects of quality writing, and as I'm not an editor by trade, I find them easy to forget as I pour out first drafts.

If you're an author, or aspire to be one, I strongly recommend adding SelfEditing for Fiction Writers to your library. Whether you plan to submit to an agent or publish independently, your work will be all the better for it. I honestly can't recommend this book enough. I’m not a writer or an editor. I’m just a person who loves to read and learn, and I definitely learned a lot from this book. This is not a book on grammar but on writing fiction. Browne and King cover many topics some of which are: show vs. tell, monologue, beats, proportion, and repetition.

I loved the way the book was structured. Each chapter has several examples, a checklist, and exercises. What’s great is the examples and exercises build on the chapters before, so you are constantly reinforcing what you’ve learned. A well written, informative book. Highly recommend to both writers and readers. This book was fantastic! I was worried that there would be too much focus on the mechanics of writing (ex. where to put commas, how to pluralize names that end in 's', etc.), but Browne and King truly created a different kind of book. They talk about how writers should show, not tell, in their writing, how to use voice and style, how to effectively use beats in dialogue, and many other tips and tricks that you can't get from a book on grammar.

Browne and King provide many examples throughout the chapters of common mistakes and how to fix them. There are checklists at the end of every chapter, which I fully intend to use when editing my own work. There are even exercises for writers to practice their editing, with answers tucked away in the appendix.

I recommend this to anyone who's working on editing a piece of fictionwhether it's short story or a novel. UPDATED 5/12/15 ... Read it again. The margins are filled with notes. It is so helpful to read this while I am in the midst of editing my own novelinprogress.

***

This is an absolutely terrific book ... page after page of suggestions ... great stimulus to thought about my novel in progress ... LEW ... http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/ There are three kinds of writing books.

* Those that try to tell you how to get published. These books generally claim to have found the magic formula to get publishers to accept your book. The problem with thisas the blog entry I linked in my previous post pointed outis that there is no magic formula.
* Then there are those that try to tell you how to write in the first place. They tend to be a formula the writer found worked for them to get the words out and therefore assume will work for everyone. They won't but they will work for some people and at the very least they give insight into the creative process.
* Then there are those that assume you have a functiomal first draft, but that being a first draft it's rather crappy and you want to make it better. These tend to be the most useful kindin my opinion anyway.

"SelfEditing for Fiction Writers second edition" by Renni Browne and Dave King is the third kind of writing book. And in my opinion it is possibly the best of its ilk. The authors are not fiction writers but professional editors. They know their business and it shows. And when I say they are editors I don't mean copyeditors or proofreaders. The cover nothwithstanding this is not a book about grammar and spelling. It's a book about rewriting and I really, really like it.

The book opens with a chapter on "Show and Tell" which not only gives the best explanation of this fraught and confusing subject I've ever read, but also explains when it's not just okay but better to tell rather than show. This sets the pattern for the rest of the book. They give you the guidelines but also advise you that sometimes it's fine to break the rules they set out.

One of my favourite things about this book is that at the end of each of chapter there are exercises. They give passages containing the problems they've highlighted in the chapter and you get to edit it. Their answers are in the back of the book, but they also say no two people will edit a passage exactly the same way. Practice makes perfect and this book gives you practice before you unleash yourself on your own writing.

There are other books and websites where you can get some or all of this advice, but I have yet to see one that is as comprehensive and comprehensible in its explanations as this one. It's a book to keep and reread regularly.

Very highly recommended. Super useful.

The first chapter on narration vs action is worth the price alone. Best explanation of show vs. tell I've found yet.

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print book, this is one of the most wanted Renni Browne author readers around the world.

[EPUB] ✿ Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print ❄ Renni Browne – Salbutamol-ventolin-online.info

    In summary, the book does touch upon most problems that need to be addressed when editing but I suggest that you read their way of addressing them through sceptical glasses. I should have read this book seven years ago, which is when I bought it. I find nonfiction (and any story lacking the presence of aliens) difficult to focus on, though. Maybe I thought having it on my shelf, or the simple purchase, itself, would make me a better writer. I could look up at the spine now and again and say, “Yeah. I have that book. I’m a writer.”

    I am a writer—anyone can be one of those. But according to this book, I’m not a very good one. Yet. I’ll get there, but it won’t be because I have such books lined up on my shelf keeping me company. Won’t be because I’ve read them, either. It will be because I kept writing, reading, recognizing my errors and working to fix them. Because I practiced.

    I recently submitted a story to a publisher. To my astonishment and joy, they offered me a contract. Then they sent me four pages of first pass edit notes. Astonishment morphed into that squicky feeling at the bottom of my stomach and joy simply evaporated. I think I actually whined at my laptop. My editor referenced SelfEditing for Fiction Writers and suggested I read the first chapter. I looked up at my reference shelf and studied the row of shiny, uncracked spines. Yep, there it was. Pristine, perfect and pathetically untouched.

    I read the first chapter (the squicky feeling in my gut revolved a few times while I seriously considered replying to my editor, “Why for the love of all that is holy did you buy my story? It’s CRAP!”) and then I read the second chapter. Aliens had not made an appearance by the third, but I kept reading and the sick feeling moved through several recognizable stages along the way. Mountains and valleys of elation and depression. I also babbled out loud. “So that’s what that’s called. Okay, I can do that. Oh, my God, I do that all the time. Hey, I can do that. I do do that. I don’t do that. I’m good at that.” And so on.

    Needing to read this book made it a more relevant and therefore enjoyable experience. The tone is not condescending and the advice is dispensed with good humor. There are plenty of examples to make every point and every chapter is followed by a checklist and exercises. The lessons are very clear; I understood the purpose of each chapter and I understood why certain things don’t work or how they can be improved. I didn’t put the book down and think, “Forget it. I can’t do this.” I put the put book down and wrote this review instead.

    Now I’m going to print out my story and work through it from beginning to end, using what I have learned. No doubt, it will be a soul crushing exercise. But I feel prepared to tackle it.
    Self Editing How To Self Edit A Book With SpecificThe Three Different Types Of Verbal Read Throughs In Self Editing Reading For Structure Reading For Readability Reading For Grammar And Word Choice Each Read Through During Self Editing Should Be Done Out Loud Verbal Read Throughs For Self Editing Self Publishing School Teaches To Read Your Manuscript Out Loud To Yourself I Couldn T AgreeIt May Seem A Little Silly, But It S Much Easier To Find Errors The Topgolden Rules Of Self Editing The Writer The Topgolden Rules Of Self Editing Use These Self Editing Tips For Success Advertisement I Have Rewritten Often Several Times Every Word I Have Ever Published My Pencils Outlast Their Erasers Vladimir Nabokov One Of The Great Contradictions In The Writing World Is How Many Writers Assert That They Value The Written Word In Its Highest Form, Yet They Can T BeSelf Editing BasicsSimple Ways To Edit Your Self Editing A Great Way To Help Writers Save Money I Have Heard Many Writers Tend To Sign Checks For Their Works Polished They Say It S Hard To Revise One S Own Work But This Post Recommends To Rest The Manuscript So That The Book Almost Seems Like Someone Else Wrote It Editing IS Part Of Writing, And For Writers Who Find It Hard Should Learn, Instead Of Finding Editors For TheThe Best Self Editing Tips For Writers By Lynda Self Editing For Self Publishers Is Broken Into Three Distinct Parts Part I This Section Of The Book Explains Exactly What S Involved In Self Editing, From The Whole Concept Of It To The Mindset Tips For Self Editing Your Fiction Novel Just Self Editing Your Novel Is Difficult And Time Consuming, But These Tips Will Surely Help You Navigate The Self Editing Phase Before Sending Your Book To A Professional Editor Let Your Manuscript Rest Letting Your Manuscript Rest Is The Best Way To Jump Start The Next Phase Of The Writing Journey The Editing ProcessTips From Self Editing For Fiction WritersThe Secret To Editing Your Work Is Simple You Need To Become Its Reader Instead Of Its Writer Zadie Smith WriteIgnite SMaster Class With Joyce Moyer Hostetter Is Only A Month Away The WriteIgnite Team Has Suggested Checking Out Several Chapters Of Self Editing For Fiction Writers By Renni Browne And Dave King As A Way To Prepare For The Workshop How To Edit A BookChecklist And Tips For Self A Self Edit Is Pretty Self Explanatory It S An Edit Of Your Manuscript That You Conduct By Yourself If You Choose To Self Edit, It S Your Responsibility To Trim Your Prose, Spot Any Plot Holes, Refine Your Character Arcs, And Manage All Of The Other Elements That Go Into Editing A BookSelf Editing Tips For Indie Authors AndSELF EDITING TIPRead It Out Loud If You Only Take Away One Self Editing Tip, Make It This One Before You Publish Your Work, Or Submit Your Work To Agents, Print Out Your Entire Manuscript Single Sided, Double Spaced, Twelve Point Font Now Put Your Manuscript On A Table Or A Desk, Your Palms Flat On Either Side, And Read The Entire BookSelf Editing For Fiction Writers How To Edit YourselfYou Can Download Self Editing For Fiction Writers How To Edit Yourself Into Print In Pdf FormatManuscript Editing Software Programs Reviewed Automated Editing Is Not As Good As Human Editing, But It Is Probably A Good Idea To Get One Of These Programs To Make Some Obvious Corrections Before Sending Your Manuscript To An Editor These Programs Can Alert You To Overuse Of Adverbs, Clichs, Redundancies, Overlong Sentences, Sticky Sentences, Glue Words, Vague And Abstract Words, Diction, And The Misuse Of Dialog Tags, To Name Just I am a big selfeditor. I don't want a professional editor or even my writer's group to see my writing before it's as good as I can get it. I'm like that in all parts of my life. I clean the house before my house cleaner shows up so she never knows how messy I really am.

    I have a long list of selfedits I go through (checking for passive, the use of 'was', repeated words, etc.), but I found a book I like called Self Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King. It covers everything one should look at in their mss in three different ways:

    * Each chapter covers a multipage summary on how to do it
    * Each chapter includes a checklist at the end to apply to your own writing
    * Each chapter includes exercises to allow you to practice the skill if it's one that is difficult for you

    When I first bought Browne and King's book, I read the entire thing. Not much new in it from what I already knew about writing (I have nine published books), but it did include everything I considered important to a welldeveloped story. Here's a partial list of the skills:

    * Show and tell
    * Characterization and exposition
    * Point of View
    * Dialogue mechanics
    * Interior monologue
    * Voice

    Now that I know I can trust it, I go directly to the checklists, to make sure I'm doing each part correctly. For example, here's the Show and Tell Checklist:

    * How often do you use narrative summary
    * If there's too much narrative, convert some of it to scenes (that works well to speed up a plot and turn dull into dynamic. I love this item)
    * Make sure there's enough narrative so you don't bounce from scene to scene
    * Does narrative describe feelings? No good.

    Overall, for the meticulous writer, this is a good book. My creative friends who want to write of the top of their heads and refuse to be constrained by protocols and rulesI'd skip this one. My second readthrough of this book. The first time I read it was when I started the editing process for my novel, A Confession. This readthrough is while I'm editing my upcoming novel, 'The Unfortunate Expiration of One Mr. David S. Sparks.' As I read it the first time I found quite a few useful tipsespecially for things to be conscious of in my own writing as I selfedited. And I firmly believe A Confession turned out all the better for it.

    Now, as I edit my next novel, I've returned to this bookand am glad I did. Again I was reminded of a lot of things I need to watch for in my writing, things that are already making this next book considerably better as I go through the first round of edits. Sure, I learned quite a bit the first time throughand it's helped my first drafts require less work to clean. But still, after all the reminders and new highlights and notes from my last readthrough, I've decided that with each book I release I'll be revisiting this little guide.

    Of course, nothing in here is completely revelatory. It's a guide of a lot of the basic things writers should be looking at and editing toward to make their work stronger, more readable, and still retain a strong personal voice. Ideas such as show vs. tell, dialogue mechanics and how to use beats effectively ... but they're all important aspects of quality writing, and as I'm not an editor by trade, I find them easy to forget as I pour out first drafts.

    If you're an author, or aspire to be one, I strongly recommend adding SelfEditing for Fiction Writers to your library. Whether you plan to submit to an agent or publish independently, your work will be all the better for it. I honestly can't recommend this book enough. I’m not a writer or an editor. I’m just a person who loves to read and learn, and I definitely learned a lot from this book. This is not a book on grammar but on writing fiction. Browne and King cover many topics some of which are: show vs. tell, monologue, beats, proportion, and repetition.

    I loved the way the book was structured. Each chapter has several examples, a checklist, and exercises. What’s great is the examples and exercises build on the chapters before, so you are constantly reinforcing what you’ve learned. A well written, informative book. Highly recommend to both writers and readers. This book was fantastic! I was worried that there would be too much focus on the mechanics of writing (ex. where to put commas, how to pluralize names that end in 's', etc.), but Browne and King truly created a different kind of book. They talk about how writers should show, not tell, in their writing, how to use voice and style, how to effectively use beats in dialogue, and many other tips and tricks that you can't get from a book on grammar.

    Browne and King provide many examples throughout the chapters of common mistakes and how to fix them. There are checklists at the end of every chapter, which I fully intend to use when editing my own work. There are even exercises for writers to practice their editing, with answers tucked away in the appendix.

    I recommend this to anyone who's working on editing a piece of fictionwhether it's short story or a novel. UPDATED 5/12/15 ... Read it again. The margins are filled with notes. It is so helpful to read this while I am in the midst of editing my own novelinprogress.

    ***

    This is an absolutely terrific book ... page after page of suggestions ... great stimulus to thought about my novel in progress ... LEW ... http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/ There are three kinds of writing books.

    * Those that try to tell you how to get published. These books generally claim to have found the magic formula to get publishers to accept your book. The problem with thisas the blog entry I linked in my previous post pointed outis that there is no magic formula.
    * Then there are those that try to tell you how to write in the first place. They tend to be a formula the writer found worked for them to get the words out and therefore assume will work for everyone. They won't but they will work for some people and at the very least they give insight into the creative process.
    * Then there are those that assume you have a functiomal first draft, but that being a first draft it's rather crappy and you want to make it better. These tend to be the most useful kindin my opinion anyway.

    "SelfEditing for Fiction Writers second edition" by Renni Browne and Dave King is the third kind of writing book. And in my opinion it is possibly the best of its ilk. The authors are not fiction writers but professional editors. They know their business and it shows. And when I say they are editors I don't mean copyeditors or proofreaders. The cover nothwithstanding this is not a book about grammar and spelling. It's a book about rewriting and I really, really like it.

    The book opens with a chapter on "Show and Tell" which not only gives the best explanation of this fraught and confusing subject I've ever read, but also explains when it's not just okay but better to tell rather than show. This sets the pattern for the rest of the book. They give you the guidelines but also advise you that sometimes it's fine to break the rules they set out.

    One of my favourite things about this book is that at the end of each of chapter there are exercises. They give passages containing the problems they've highlighted in the chapter and you get to edit it. Their answers are in the back of the book, but they also say no two people will edit a passage exactly the same way. Practice makes perfect and this book gives you practice before you unleash yourself on your own writing.

    There are other books and websites where you can get some or all of this advice, but I have yet to see one that is as comprehensive and comprehensible in its explanations as this one. It's a book to keep and reread regularly.

    Very highly recommended. Super useful.

    The first chapter on narration vs action is worth the price alone. Best explanation of show vs. tell I've found yet."/>
  • Paperback
  • 237 pages
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
  • Renni Browne
  • English
  • 10 November 2019
  • 9780062720467

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