Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday – 2010-08-11

Wednesday, August 11

Hello again. Today, I wish to jump into the subject of editing one’s work. This all-too-important part of the writing process for the most part is not my favorite. Yet, if I do not do it, no one would be interested in reading my novel.

My first true foray into in-depth editing of a novel started yesterday. I managed to edit 8 scenes in about 4 hours. While I am editing, I take notes of material that I need to be looking for. One thing I look for is sentence structure. If the sentence sounds stilted, I will rewrite it. I try to take out the unnecessary words and phrases in order to get to the point or action.

Here is an example of a sentence that I would changed:

“He started walking toward the exit.”

I would cut that back to

“He walked toward the exit.”

Yes, the word “started” denotes time. Yet, when I look at my manuscript, I have a “began,” a “started,” or some other verb followed by a gerund (a verb converted into a noun by adding “-ing”: adding, walking) or by and infinitive (placing a verb behind the word “to”: to go, to get) scattered all through my scenes.

I may let a few slide by, but most of the time, I will convert the gerund or infinitive into the appropriate verb thus making the sentence more active. In the course of my editing, I found that I can cut some adjectives and adverbs. But sometimes, I feel that some have to stay or the meaning does not come through the way I want it to.

Next, I start looking for words that I overuse. One of those was the word “felt.” I managed to reword or restructure the sentence to get the main meaning and get rid of the word “felt.” Now, that does not mean I got rid of all of them.

One other thing I discover doing was using the character’s name or pronouns for the character in the scene in every sentence. I should be able to describe the scene and let the reader know whose point of view is the scene is in.

I also added material that foreshadows events that occur later on in the book. The only reason this is hard is that I now have to go through the book to collect notes that I made. It really isn’t that hard but just time consuming.

Now, I think it is time for me to shut up and get to work. I hope this helps you in some way.


  1. Editing is not the most fun part of the process, but as you said, very necessary. I right there with you. Good luck on your edits!

  2. Yeah! Riley was right. Just embrace the work and have fun.. Good Luck!