In this, the second of the Editing 101 series, we’ll be looking at ‘filler’ words. These are words that creep into your ms and add no value whatsoever. Some of these filler words also kill your action as you slide into ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’ and yank you out of deep pov (point-of-view).
How to edit your manuscript of these slow poisons? Use your Edit/Replace function and scour through your ms. Be liberal with the ‘delete’ key. And no, the editor at the publisher will not do this for you...they will expect you to have done this beforehand (it’s what they mean by a ‘polished' ms).
Next up in the Editing 101 series - How to do your own developmental edit.
External conflict is pretty easy to figure out. Obstacles to the goal, amiright? But, inner conflict? Now, that’s a whole different ballgame. And making your inner conflict somehow relate to your external conflict? Fuhgeddaboutit.
I’m running a one-week workshop with Savvy Authors, 15 July, to teach you everything you wanted to know about inner conflict. You can sign up here.
In this interactive workshop, you’ll find out:
Without inner conflict, you won’t have much of a compelling romance read. Most of the submissions I read have great external conflict but they don't plough the depths of why the characters respond the way they do - that’s inner conflict. And that’s what links into character arcs, and character development, and satisfying HEAs. The result is the dreaded rejection.
But you don’t have to be in the dark about inner conflict any longer. This workshop will ensure that you have a clear idea of what inner conflict is and how to use it.
What are you waiting for? Sign up today.
Welcome to the first post in EDITING 101, a series of blog posts dedicated to the editing process.
So much focus is on the writing, it’s easy to forget the editing. And yet, most of writing is rewriting, which means...editing.
First up, there are those writers who aren’t keen on editing. They see it as a chore. Shouldn’t a writer just know how to write and badda-bing-badda-boom, perfect prose emerges?
Not a single typo, repetitive phrase, clunky plot, or awkward phrase. Perfect.
Guess what? There is no such person. That’s not how writing works. Ever. The writer is NEVER the only person in the writing process.
There are developmental editors, proofers, copy editors, even acquisition editors who have a say in the final product. It’s always a team process.
But, that’s when you get the contract. Before you get the contract, you have to work through your first draft yourself. Some people engage their beta reader team, others hire an editor. Either way, it helps to have a second and/or third opinion from someone other than your nearest and dearest (they don’t know any better and will tell you they love it).
Here’s the deal: Once you have that contract, your novel will head out on the first round of edits. Here’s where you’ll wonder how you got a contract in the first place. Your editor is generally not a cuddly bunny hippity hopping you through the changes. They need the book to be as close to perfect as possible (notice I said, close to), and they will let you know how far away from 'close to' your ms is.
But, they’re not done with you, yet. The ms then goes through a second round of edits. There will be even more things you need to fix up. Here’s where you’ll discover that you’re a huge fan of certain stock phrases or that your hero and heroine use the same swear words.
Now, it’s ready for publication. Nope, no it isn’t. It now heads out to the proofer. Once again, the proofed copy will be back in your inbox for checking. And, interestingly, there are some words/phrases out there that despite all of this editing, still make it through unnoticed - these often get picked up by your ARC (advanced reader copy) readers. Or people who hated your book and have listed your infringements on Goodreads.
Next in the EDITING 101 series: Words you can delete from your first draft to tighten your prose, immediately
Sometimes, the most daunting words are ‘Chapter’ and ‘One’. And, then? What happens next? You’ve done your plotting and planning, and naff all comes to mind. Not a single word - nada, zip.
Or you’ve plotted so much that you feel that your voice is getting lost in the writing.
When the going gets tough, it’s time for the tough to get going*:
Other things to try:
*Do not censor what you write, just get in there and GO. You can always fix up and edit later. What we want here is actual words on the screen/notebook/chalkboard.
HEA ROMANCE WRITING
Everything you need to know to write your own happily ever after.