Saturday, August 19, 2006
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
I found out about this book from Randy Ingermanson, a Christian fiction author who also teaches a number of on-line courses about writing. I've taken one of them and so should you (if you're a writer) and he has an e-zine he publishes once a month. It was in one of the latest editions of this e-zine that he mentioned this book. More specifically, he said that if you're a writer and you seriously want to be published, you should get and read this book immediately. I realize it's hyperbole, but hey, it's worth a shot, right?
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a really good book about some of the mechanics of fiction writing. Renni Browne and Dave King are independent editors who have worked with writers over the years, polishing up their work to get them ready for publication. In the introduction, they lament the fact that in modern publishing, a lot of manuscripts don't get the editing job they need to turn them from good into magnificent. Their book is designed to "sit in the gap", so to speak, to train writers to edit their own work.
They cover such topics as showing and telling, point of view, dialogue mechanics, and voice. There are many examples taken from workshops that they've led and published novels to illustrate their lessons. What's really nice is that at the end of each chapter, they have a detailed checklist with suggestions on how to check your manuscript for problems as well as exercises you can do to test yourself on the concept.
I agree with Randy Ingermanson. If you're a writer, you'll want to read this book!