Thank you to author Rae Rivers for her report back on Rebecca Crowley's workshop on Tips for Self-Editing on the Sunday morning at ROSACon2014.
Report by Rae Rivers
Day 2 of the conference dawned bright and early as we all gathered with great eagerness, notebooks in hand, to listen to Rebecca Crowley share some self-editing tips.
I adore the storytelling aspect of writing a book but sometimes find the editing aspect a bit daunting. The more books I’ve published, the sharper my editing eye has become – even though I still have heaps to learn so I was so keen to attend this particular session. For me, looking at my book objectively and trying to find all its faults is a bit overwhelming so it was useful that Rebecca broke down the self-editing tips into three parts:
• Plot, Conflict and Characters
Is your plot, conflict and characters well defined? Are you able to sum up your story into a synopsis or a one-sentence elevator pitch?
• Pacing and Consistency
Is there consistency between chapter and scene lengths? She suggested keeping an eye on word count to ensure that lengths are consistent. Are the details correct and constant – clothing, time sequence, setting, hair/eye colour etc. Another tip is to check these details after edits too as inconsistencies sometimes occur during the editorial process.
• Polish and Proofread
Finally, it’s critical to give your book one last read to polish and proofread. Check for words that are often repeated, delete unnecessary dialogue tags, watch out for repetition and passive voice and be wary of purple prose. (I for one, found that last tip interesting!)
It was wonderful to see such an eager audience, share ideas and gather some tips. A big thank you to Rebecca for sharing her knowledge and experience!