Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?

Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak

Book Cover Courtesy amazon,com
Book Cover Courtesy amazon,com

You’d have thought I’d have suggested murder.

“Great job with the story and the plot, but you might want to consider a bit more self-editing.” My comment, though said in the kindest of ways,  floored the conferee.

“Self-edit?” She swallowed hard. “I proofed it. Are there typos?”

The more conferences where I’m blessed to teach, the more I see the rising need to address self-editing. For the experienced writer self- editing is is a no brainer. They understand the process. Write, edit, write, edit again. But for the new writer, self-editing doesn’t compute past proofing. There is a difference. A big difference.

I can’t proof my own work for the life of me. My mind’s eye refuses to focus in on transposed letters, extra spaces and the right word spelled the wrong way. But self-editing I can manage.

This process of backtracking over my previous chapter has been a skill learned through years of sharing in critique groups. As our growth as a writer expands we’re able to see the flaws that trip up the reader.  It takes practice to learn self-editing and I highly recommend purchasing a couple of great  self-editing books such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne & Dave King or Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell. These are both wonderful tools every writer needs on their bookshelves. Self-editing teaches you the craft of writing. Here are some fast self-editing tools to help you improve your work.

Synonyms – The greatest writer gift in the world is a Thesaurus. Get one. Learn to use it. Find new words that pack a punch. Take “hardily laughing” to a guffaw.  Keep your audience in mind when you’re choosing new words, you’ll not only cut the word count but you’ll draw your reader in.

Similes and Metaphors – Learn to use them. They’ll take dull descriptions and turn them into peach pie.

Check the Dictionary – It’s easy to use the right word but spell it wrong. i.e. there and their; then and than, etc. Webster is pretty smart.

Action and Reaction – Make sure the action comes first. You can’t pay with cash until you pull out your wallet.

Active and Passive Voice – Passive writing is slow and boring. Check your work and when you run upon passive sentences, rewrite them. Active voice pulls the reader into the action and makes the read fun and interactive. Not to mention it shaves words off your word count.

RUE – Resist the Urge to Explain –If it doesn’t move the story ahead, cut it. We tend to over explain. Choose good words and description. A few good words will speak volumes.

These are just a few self-editing tips. Make self-editing a part of your writing process.

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