Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another Post on Editing

Hey Awesome People Who Read My Blog!

I’ve missed you guys. What’ve you been up to?

*Hilary grabs a piece of cheese and stuffs it in her mouth while she pretends to care*

Just kidding, I care. No, really I do. I care so much, I’m going to post more editing advice.

*cheers erupt*

Let’s get down to business. Over the past couple of weeks, I slaughtered 15,000 words from my manuscript.

*audience gasps*

Yes, I know it’s a lot, but they were all unnecessary. What deems a word unnecessary, you ask?

Here is a list I found helpful from agent Rachelle Gardner’s site:
→ Adverbs, especially those with “ly” endings.
→ Adjectives. Often people use two or three when one or none is better.
→ Gerunds. Words that end in “ing.”
→ Passive voice: Over-use of words like “was,” "were" and "that" indicate your writing may be too passive. Reconstruct in active voice.
→ Passages that are overly descriptive.
→ Passages that describe characters' thoughts and feelings in too much detail (i.e. long sections of narrative or interior monologue).
→ Passages that tell the reader what they already know.
→ Unnecessary backstory.

Words to watch for. Carefully consider their necessity and effectiveness:
about, actually, almost, like, appears, approximately, basically, close to, even, eventually, exactly, finally, just, just then, kind of, nearly, practically, really, seems, simply, somehow, somewhat, sort of, suddenly, truly, utterly, were.

Also, I participated in a recent #askagent Twitter-fest and received the best advice ever from super-cool agent Colleen Lindsay. And here it is:

ColleenLindsay: @hilaryheskett It's all about 1.) Voice, 2.) Brevity and 3.) Authenticity

I hope this reiteration of stuff you already knew helps your book tightening efforts. Go team writers!

*awkward microphone screech*

At least it’s in one place if you ever need it?

*crickets chirping*


All right. Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. This is good, Hilary. I've even read Rachelle Gardner's post, but I don't think I can hear it too many times.

    I'm in the process of slashing exactly that, so it's good timing too.