Some Things to Keep in Mind When Self Editing

This blog post is based off a recent workshop I took at Context. The shop was presented by author Gary A. Braunbeck. I found his class  gave some really great advice, so I thought I’d pass it along for others who might find it useful too. The following is an accumulation of handouts, and notes I took. His advice covered everything from dialogue tags to punctuation. Enjoy.

  • First Rule of Editing. ALL editing should be left to second draft and beyond. A first draft should not be edited until it is completed.
  • Had. Avoid using the word “had” anywhere but in dialogue; when this happens, you will be telling the reader something instead, not showing. Consider the word to be a warning bell if you see it in the body of your narrative.
  • Character Names in Dialogue. Avoid having characters use each others name too much when in conversation; shift the focus by using a simple physical action.

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Free Story Consultation for the Month of July

Are you stuck and need help on an existing story? Or just need someone to edit a piece before submitting it to a publisher? Look no further. I am here to offer my services as a story consultant. And for the entire month of July, I will be offering that service for free on stories up to 5,000 words (even for Story Progression Editing). If you have a story longer than that, I will still work on it, but will charge my regular fee ($5.00 per thousand words or $8.00 per thousand words for Story Progression) minus the first 5,000 words.

What you can expect from my consultation…

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