A Map (Part 2)

Some maps give the big picture. Other maps are full of tiny details, showing everything from street names to house numbers.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King is one of those Maps full of tiny, practical details. In a previous post I shared a few of their suggestions. Here are a few more tips:

· Beats: Don’t interrupt a scene with too many beats (bits of action); when using beats make sure they are fresh and unique instead of pointless, repetitive, or cliched.

· Rhythm: Break up large paragraphs into smaller ones; white space on a page is inviting to a reader and shorter paragraphs/sentences can add tension to a scene.

· Repetition: Keep on the lookout for unintentional word repeats; pare down interior monologue that has turned into a rambling of the character’s mood or feelings.

· Proportion: Don’t spend too much time describing every precise detail of character action; leave some things to the readers’ imagination.

· Stylistic Tricks: Cut out as many –ing and as phrases as you can; use –ing sparingly within a subordinate clause; try not to use an –ing participle construction at the beginning of a sentence.

I hope these tips point your writing in the right direction!


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