- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Subsequent edition (April 13, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780060545697
- ISBN-13: 978-0060545697
- ASIN: 0060545690
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 537 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,225 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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So, if you want to get considered by a publishing house, it's very valuable to have insight into how they evaluate manuscripts for publication. If you're going to publish yourself, then you want to minimize the cost of what an editor has to change, or if going without an editor, strengthen your writing so It enhances your story. The best way to be convinced of the value of the suggestions in this book, is to join a critique group and see how many of the submitted stories could be improved by following these ideas.
The book is an easy read. Not ponderous nor pretentious. Just straightforward advice filled with real-world examples - from client submissions they've received as editors, to famous works, to gems from their editing workshops. The authors have a clear voice: upbeat, and to-the-point. It's accessible to every writer: from the seasoned and published writer with the English degree, to the brand newbie.
Each chapter closes with a point-by-point review of what's been covered followed by exercises that you can edit yourself (then "check your work" against their answers in the back of the book).
You may not agree with every stylistic choice the authors suggest, but, they are professionals, and if your goal is getting your book published, then this book will certainly bring you closer to that goal.
Just to be clear, this is not a book about developmental/substantive editing. Other than some tips about plot twists and repetitions, this book doesn’t address things like character arcs and holes in the story line. (And it doesn’t purport to.)
Through the illustrative examples and the helpful exercises, I learned a lot. As far as the exercises go, they were short and meaningful, not long and tedious. (They were actually kinda fun to do!)
I can’t think of any negatives. Five stars, money well-spent!
This is basically the standard advice you can find for free all over the web or on YouTube heavily larded with text from other author's books, so much so that it is really too tedious to read and IMO not worth the $12.95 for the kindle edition.