- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Subsequent edition (April 13, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060545690
- ISBN-13: 978-0060545697
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 486 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print Subsequent Edition
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"A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.""--Library Journal"
From the Back Cover
Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories. Renni Browne and Dave King are two of the country's best-known independent editors. In their years as president and senior editor of The Editorial Department, they have edited the work of many writers - including bestselling authors - before the manuscripts went out to agents or publishers. Over half the manuscripts worked on to completion eventually got published, and over half that number were first novels. In this book Browne and King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own manuscript, in order to bring your manuscript to its fullest potential. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, interior monologue and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert fiction editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited. Every chapter contains hands-on exercises to help you apply these techniques to your own work. And illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist George Booth keep everything in perspective.
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Top customer reviews
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Browne and King touch on just about everything, including how to make realistic, flowing dialogue, how to harness point of view to enhance your story, how to make unique characters rather than clichéd cartoons, and, perhaps most importantly, how to respect your readers by creatively showing character traits and plot rather than telling about them like an elementary school project. The book emphasizes what I love about writing, which is that even the slightest, seemingly insignificant change to a story, a sentence, a word, can be the difference between generic crap and inspiring art. By killing cliches, turning a phrase, dropping "-ly" adverbs that describe every action amateurishly, or simply breaking up sentences and paragraphs differently, your story dons a whole 'nother outfit, one (hopefully) unencumbered by all the flashy pins and buttons that us amateurs tack on in attempt to seem like "real" writers.
The book includes neat little exercises at the end of each chapter, plus chapter summaries that will serve well as quick editing references. At about 230 pages, it reads rather swiftly. This is definitely the kind of book that rewards a second or third reading, as there is so much great advice to absorb in just one go. If you're a writer serious about getting published, maybe to make a little money, then for ~$10 and a few hours of your time, this book is a wonderful investment.
I applied all the laws they were adamant about and looked for them within the works of my favorite writers. And the whole thing fell apart.
As if so many books disagree with what they had to say. What I want to say is to read this book but Don't follow every suggestion to the letter. Every writer needs a certain level of leeway with their writing.
If you're a fiction writer working on a novel, this is a must-have!