J.A. Stinger

Words Can Inspire The World

Filtering by Tag: Editing


In this article I will set out to explain why so many famous authors (Stephen King being perhaps the most vocal) warn other authors against the use of adverbs. In fact, King’s hatred of adverbs is so intense that he’s been quoted as saying, “Adverbs are evil.” You will discover the role of adverbs in fiction writing, and I’ll demonstrate why removing adverbs from your writing will make your book more enjoyable to read. In short, I’ll explain just why adverbs are evil.

Read More

The Best Editing Trick I Ever Learnt

Editing is a bitch. I’ve written about the differences between editing and revising before. But my dear friend Ali recently taught me one of the best, most practically useful lessons I’ve ever learnt when it comes to editing.

See, for a long time, I wrote, linearly, and then when I finished, I went back to the start and edited.

Read More

Tips on How to Work with an Editor | BookDaily #AuthorTips

The relationship between writer and editor is intimate. I’ve been on both sides, and in either role there are risks. For a writer, to ask for a critique of your work is to make yourself vulnerable—you are inviting someone to see what’s in your heart. However, when your work is published, you’ll be sharing your writing with a broader and often less gentle audience, so isn’t it better to first bare your soul to an ally who helps you present your strongest work?

Read More

9 ways to review and revise your writing

It's easy to equate revision with failure. “If I knew what I were doing, I'd get it right the first time,” many writers think.

Revision is the best friend a writer can have. The trick is to use revision as a tool to make your writing clearer, sharper and more powerful. Here are some approaches to revising your work:

Read More

Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

I’ve spoken before about the different types of editors. Each type of editor and/or editing pass helps us strengthen a different aspect of our work: the storytelling, the writing itself, and the grammar of our sentences.

As a developmental editor, I focus a lot on the storytelling aspect of writing craft in my posts here: character arcs, plots and subplots, stakes and motivations, etc. But any peek at Amazon reviews reveals that the common “needs editing” complaint usually refers to copyediting.

Read More

How To Edit Your Book In 5 Easy Steps

You’ve written “The End” either on the page or in your mind. Are you feeling a euphoric sense of relief and accomplishment? Or a sinking feeling of despair because the worst is yet to come—the dreaded edits! If the second describes your feelings about reaching the last page, then you have a lot of company, myself included.

I’m having people over to my house tomorrow night to play bridge. No need to worry about things they’d never see, right? It occurred to me that the tasks of editing my novel and cleaning my house have a lot in common, a rather discouraging realization since I hate cleaning.

Read More

BLANK PAGE TO FINAL DRAFT: Week 7: Edit the First Chapters of Your Novel!

Written by: Bryn Donovan
Source: http://www.bryndonovan.com/2016/02/15/edit-the-first-chapters-of-your-novel

Hey friends! Welcome back to Blank Page to Final Draft, a schedule for writing and editing a complete novel in just one year. If you’ve been following along, you might have five chapters done by now.

And if you don’t have that much, well… I’ll tell you a secret. I’ve built in catch-up times later in this schedule. So if you’re behind, don’t give up. Just keep writing!

This week, you just can edit whatever you’ve got so far.

Some people don’t believe in editing at all during a first draft. I think it’s a good idea to stop once, somewhere around chapter three to chapter five, to make sure that things are more or less making sense so far. This keeps the book on track and can prevent a lot more rewriting in the end.

You don’t have to get everything perfect yet. I suggest focusing on only these three things:

1. Do the first five pages make the reader care about what will happen to an important character?

As I’ve said before, I think this is the best thing the beginning of a story can accomplish. If this isn’t happening, you may have stuff at the beginning that you need to cut.

2.  Can the reader basically tell what is happening in the story? 

In other words, is the time and place of the story clear? Can they tell who’s talking, and what the characters are doing? Can they see it in their heads?

3. Are the motivations of your point-of-view characters clear?

Can the reader understand why they do everything they do so far in the story? This can be a matter of characterization, or it can be a issue of plotting. For instance, if there’s another, more reasonable solution to a problem, you may have to change things so that the other solution isn’t an option.

Naturally it’s okay if your POV character, and the reader, find another character’s words or actions baffling.

That’s all.

You can make other edits if you like, of course, but you don’t have to. At the beginning of next week, you’ll give your quickly edited pages to beta readers for feedback, with some very specific instructions.

No matter where you’re at in your project, give yourself credit for the work that you have accomplished! Happy editing!