Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I've just finished reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, 2nd edition by Renni Browne & Dave King, and wow, is it ever an excellent book. If there are any aspiring writers reading this post, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

I borrowed it from my local library, but I have no doubt that I'll be picking up my own copy very soon. It's full of helpful tips, exercises, and new ways of looking at writing. As I it, I felt decent about most of my writing, as I avoid most of their "don't" lists. Then I got deeper into the book, and several chapters seemed to speak to me personally, pointing out the flaws that plague my writing.

But not only do they show examples of what's done wrong, and what's done right, Browne and King provide explanations, exercises, and tips on how to correct the problems. Perhaps the most useful inclusion is quotes from manuscripts before and after editing, with a discussion about what they fixed, and why.

Most "how to write" books I've read tell what not to do, and maybe provide an example or two. A few will go into a little detail about why to avoid certain pitfalls. None so far had the excellent, practical advice that Browne and King provide.

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