My Go-To Book for Writing Craft

Way back when, I created this website with a major objective in mind: I wanted to pass along information I had learned from other writers and industry professionals when I was just learning to write. Around the time I began receiving rejections on my very first manuscript, I stumbled across a book on self editing. I absorbed the information like a sponge and eventually saw that I had several problems with my writing. It was the springboard I needed to improve. This amazing book should be in every writer’s box of revision tools.

SELF EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS, by Renni Browne and Dave King.

It teaches writing craft, focusing on such skills as dialogue, voice, point of view, exposition, how to eliminate unnecessary words and dialogue tags, and so much more. In a nutshell, it teaches the mechanics of writing—how to write professionally. Many times a manuscript sounds amateur- ish. That’s probably because the writer is not as skilled as they need to be.

This self editing book also gives specific examples, checklists, and exercises to check for understanding. I found it to be so helpful, I took notes on each and every chapter, and to this day, I still refer back to it often. Beyond that though, it’s an easy read and actually pretty entertaining! If you’re struggling with the mechanics of writing (or wonder if you’re writing is strong enough), go get this book. 🙂

It doesn’t, however, focus on plot issues, world building, or character development. That’s a whole other part of the revision process. Before you tackle those issues in your manuscript though, you need to be sure your writing is spot on. I was thrilled to find this book and I’m sure you will be too. Even the best writers forget the basics sometimes. Reading this book is one way to stay on track!

For an excerpt, go to http://www.selfeditingforfictionwriters.com. Renni Browne shares a fantastic page from the chapter on voice, which we all know is so hard to develop! This sample will definitely help.

You may have your own tricks or books that have helped you. If you do, feel free to comment. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would benefit from knowing what works for you. 🙂

Speaking of revisions, click on the Critique Corner tab. I’ve set up the details of our next critique round and hope you’ll join in on the fun. I know many of you have new manuscripts in the works. This will be a great chance to get fresh perspectives on your words. And if you can, tell your fellow writers too. The more the merrier! Hmm. How fitting that sounds for the holiday season!

Have an amazing weekend. I’m planning to make cookies, wrap presents, and probably shovel the driveway. We’ve got some snow coming! And though I hate driving in it, I do like watching it turn my yard into a winter wonderland! (Don’t get me wrong…I’d rather be hanging out by the pool with those of you lucky enough to live in warmer climates, but I’m trying to show gratitude this holiday season, and I’m guessing winter bashing is not showing gratitude.) So, bring on the white fluffy stuff! Maybe I can sneak in a few minutes of writing by the fire as it paints my neighborhood sparkly white. Hmm…now that I would be very grateful for!

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