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.
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.
EL James’s latest, The Mister, landed and not surprisingly, is doing exceptionally well.
What’s this got to do with craft? Plenty.
To most writers, EL James’s work is everything you’re taught not to do. And yet, it still sells. The theory is that it’s a ‘great story.’ What does ‘good’ writing matter when it’s a ‘great story’?
First up, last time I checked, there is only one EL James. One writer making a shit ton of cash on horrible writing and a great story. Every other writer? They’re getting by (or not) on good writing AND a great story. BOTH.
The greatest story in the world manhandled by an amateur will turn out lukewarm at best. Will you get a publishing contract out of it? Probably, not. EL James is a combination of factors: a massive online following of her Twilight fanfic, the emergence of erotica as ‘en vogue’, and the trend for BDSM. Do you see ‘great story’ or ‘good writing’ in that combination? I don’t.
Where does that leave the thousands of writers out there who want to break into the writing market? Back with their tools, their craft. Writing up great stories, with fabulous writing that makes it difficult for publishers, agents, and readers to say ’no’.
There will always be the next EL James, one outlier soaring stratospherically at the right time, in the right space, when Jupiter aligned with Mars or the the prophesised one returned with her three dragons and Knight Friendzone. Would we love to be this person? Of course, we would.
But, in case it doesn’t, you can still have a career as a writer, by improving your craft to better tell great stories.
HEA ROMANCE WRITING
Everything you need to know to write your own happily ever after.