Thursday, March 6, 2014

Revision, rewriting, editing, yum

As I go through the final round of revision and rewriting for Loran Rudder and the Secret Key, I have to say, I am TIRED of proofing this book. I guess that is a good thing. When you finally get tired of that task, it probably means it is ready for publication.

So is there a special way to get this final and much needed task done?

I say yes. I think if you will work on tone and flow, cut down on word count, and polish grammar and spelling, you will have the beast bested.

My big deal has been to eliminate unneeded words. This is difficult stuff, folks. I mean, I am a southerner after all. We are KNOWN for our way of speech. Our slow, dragging-it-out like a molasses string way of speech means using a lot of extra words, and also smooshing words together. I mean, can you say "y'all"?

But if my character is a southerner, I don't want to edit ALL that goodness away, only refine it. There is a difference between editing for refinement and editing until you have a bland, zero voice.

Still, it would be a great deal better to make sentences tighter and still keep the meaning than to have a fat, overwritten book. So, that is most of what I have been doing. Taking out unneeded words. I cut 200 words from chapter one. I didn't feel a thing.

Do you have any proven methods for doing this? Some people look for fluffy words like that, just, all, very, and much. Those are usually okay to cut. Many say adverbs can usually go. I say adverbs behind "said" should go. (ex. I said, glumly)

But what about good, old-fashioned wordy sentences?

I found a lot in my book. I found a lot in this post. Like this one:

Still, it would be a great deal better to make sentences tighter and still keep the meaning than to have a fat, overwritten book. In my mind, I rewrote it like this: Instead, I should make sentences tighter and keep the meaning clear. Yes, MUCH better.

Okay, I am now tired of editing this post. Time to publish. Have a fun Thursday, Murderers.

2 comments:

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Deciding if a prepositional phrase is needed, and if so, if the 'description' can be accomplished in another way, is one of the ways I tend to cut down words and keep the words/sentence structure flowing.

Good to learn you're closing in on the end of a project.

Aaron Lazar said...

I just finished doing this for my newest release, Kim, which I wrote back in 2007 originally. Oh, it was painful. Cut lots of extra words!