Those of you who follow me on Twitter & Facebook will notice something … I like to complain about editing. It is by far my least favorite part of creating a story. The necessary evil IMO. And I don’t ‘go’ this part alone. Oh no. I’m involved in a critique group over at Scribophile, a workshop for serious-minded writers.
I’ve gotten tons of feedback over the past year and not just grammar related. Plot holes, believability – you name it.
What do I use besides my forum? A biggie list.
#1 Plot. Is it believable? Interesting? Are all my i’s dotted? T’s crossed? It must make sense and have an arc.
#1 Grammar. Spell check is always first. You’d think ‘well duh!’ but it’s amazing to me how many e-books I’ve come across with misspelled words. Sloppy & sad.
#2 Over used, repeated words. Ever get lazy & use the same verb over & over? Take ‘walk’ for example. How ‘bout spicing up the visual with a different word to convey how they walk? Amble. Hobble. Dart. Sprint. They create much better pictures in your brain, don’t they?
#3 ‘And then’ eliminations. Other than being ‘telly’ they’re boring and create no visuals whatsoever.
#4 Cliches. Gotta be original. Bring something new – something fresh – to entice readers and capture their imaginations.
#5 Vary sentence starts. It’s not pleasing to the eye or mind if every other paragraph starts with the MC’s name followed by a map-out of what they’re doing or have done.
#6 Correct word usage. There, their, they’re. To, too, two. I’m sure you get my drift!
Quite the daunting task isn’t it? Thank God for sites like Scribo & Writer’s Digest for helping with the vast majority of the first checklist.
The finishing is TONS easier when using AutoCrit or Pro Writing Aid. Never heard of them? Check those sites out. You can thank me later.
I know I need to stop complaining about editing. For me it’s just another twenty seconds of procrastination.
How ‘bout you? Have any tried & proven ways? Helpful websites?