Thursday, August 25, 2011

Polishing Your Work

As a writer there are times I feel exceptionally satisfied with my work. However, this feeling is elusive when I'm editing my own prose. After I print a draft copy of my work and read it, my inner critic can't wait to begin to polish and refine. The writer in me mourns the inevitable loss of the muse driven words haphazardly captured the night before.

I've assembled some of the common areas I look to improve in my fiction writing. Yes, this can have the appearance of destroying the "artiste" in me, but it doesn't. It makes my writing stronger. I don't use these as steadfast rules. They are guidelines and prompts to fix areas I think suck when viewed in the daylight hours. I should probably use them in all my writing, but I don't. Sometimes being "correct" leaves your reader feeling like something is wrong. I ignore these rules in my dialogue, unless I have a character who is a grammatical prig. (So far I've never written one).

Nothing destroys my word count faster than doing a remove/replace with some of these words. I'd also argue that nothing improves my writing faster. Polishing makes your writing sparkle.

Be brave and be ruthless when cutting your words. A writer can always create new ones.

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