The “Pre-Edit” Stage

As I embark on the rewrite of SUFFER THE CHILDREN (officially known as the “pre-edit” stage), I am perusing the documents I have been sent by my publisher (tee hee! still not tired of saying that!!) giving advice on the kind of clumsy writing techniques that I should be looking to eliminate at this stage.

The list is somewhat reassuring, in the sense that much of what it contains are also things picked up by The T Party as cardinal writing sins. They include the sin of “head-hopping” – when you switch POVs between several characters in the same section or even the same paragraph (and I have seen this all too often in books published by major publishers, I have to say). Overuse of “filler” words. Overuse of adverbs. Overuse of passive writing. Underuse of the word “said”, a mistake made frequently by inexperienced writers. I blame English teachers for this one. I was told by most of mine to always avoid the word “said”, but in practice this is incorrect advice. You can never overuse the word “said”, whereas if you have characters “booming”, “extemporising”, “protesting” or, even worse “ejaculating” their dialogue, it comes across as amateurish, clumsy and just plain wrong.

So I am both reassured and somewhat daunted by Lyrical Press’s list. I am reassured by their professionalism, and the fact that I agree with them about what makes clumsy writing. Daunted because I am sure that, in spite of all the previous rewrites, my manuscript contains many of these sins, somewhere, and I have my work cut out for me over the next three months. Not only do I need to rewrite, I also need to do some serious polishing. I have never done a rewrite before with such a comprehensive list of what I need to be looking for and eliminating. I think it might uncover some serious literary bad habits I have built up over the years.

I have a free weekend at home ahead of me, and plan on spending as much time as possible writing. We’ll have to see how I get on!


1 comment so far

  1. sputnitsa on

    Enjoy your pre-edit. This is you crafting your story even better. It’s awesomeness. 🙂 And congratulations again 🙂

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