Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories.
In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.
I’ve had this book for years, but I’ve been waiting to read it until I finished a manuscript that I wanted to submit to an agent. I couldn’t wait to figure out how to edit my manuscript into publishable form.
BIG MISTAKE! Do not wait to read this book!
Even though the book is technically about self-editing there are pages of writing tips that can be applied before you even start writing. If I had read this book earlier, I could have avoided a lot of common mistakes. Browne and King don’t just tell you what to do – they give examples of the right and wrong ways to do something (or sometimes the acceptable and better ways). Each chapter also ends with editing exercises to help you hone your editor’s eye.
Easy to read, entertaining, and educational – this isn’t just a good self-editing book, it’s a great writing book. I recommend it to any writer, whether or not you’ve finished a manuscript.
The Dog of the Marriage by Amy Hempel: “Just once in my life – oh, when have I ever wanted anything just once in my life?” An interesting memoir. The writing reminds me of Anne Lamott, though I prefer Lamott. Not my brand of coffee, but not bad. **
Tomorrow’s Garden by Amanda Cabot: A fairly predictable historical romance. She does a nice job setting up the characters early in the story, but more backstory emerges, slowing things down. Not a bad romance, but not my favorite. I’d recommend it to less finicky readers. **1/2
The English Major by Jim Harrison: I picked this up because I liked the first line. “It was always Cliff and Vivian, and then it wasn’t.” It took a while to adjust to Harrison’s aversion to punctuation and frank discussion of sex, but I enjoyed the reality of characters and the unique male POV. Reminds me of a secular, male version of Jan Karon’s writing. ***
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