Have you ever read a book where a word keeps popping up? I recently read a book that had a paragraph where three sentences began with and then. Another highly praised English author I read had me gritting my teeth at her use of began. It appeared over one hundred times in her otherwise great novel.
This kind of repetition can pull a reader out of a story, so I save lists of — words to use instead of — because it’s easy in a manuscript to repeat favoured vocabulary. I also have a short list of words I over use — that, looked, walked, relieved, for example. The list raises my awareness when I’m at the editing stage.
But opposing this suggestion is a tip I learned from author, Julie H. Ferguson about repeated words.
Continue reading “Those favoured words”
One of the key factors for me when editing, is time — not time to edit, but time between edits. I don’t immediately see many problems in my writing until I leave a piece for a week or longer. When I return, the issues become clear.
Continue reading “How time improves editing”
I share my work with a writing critique group, but no matter how much I value their input and the help they’ve given me to improve the piece I’ve shared, they don’t see the entire manuscript.
This is when I turn to Elizabeth Lyon’s — Manuscript Makeover that sets out the process under different headings so you don’t have to read the book from start to finish, but go to the sections where you need the most help. For me it was the chapters on characterization. Continue reading “You’ve finished your first draft — then what?”
I’ve been working with writing groups for many years after struggling on my own for over a decade. My critique group consist of authors at the beginning stages right up to those who have published a long list of books, and facilitators with impressive writing credentials. Continue reading “Are you contemplating joining a writing group?”