The FOUR LETTER WORD PLAGUING YOUR NOVEL
Question: What makes a great read? Answer: EDIT.
Question: What makes a fast read where true motives and agenda are quickly recognized though not answered until the Author wants the reader to know? Answer: The four letter word, EDIT.
By the time a Novel, any Novel, reaches your hands, whether in print or E-book, it has gone through a massive editing process, besides, initially your own. And through many Editor's hands, from a Creative Editor, through an Executive Editor culminating with the Copy Editor. Each has a unique perspective.
Take the Creative Editor, (please do! Many an author has said) BUT DON'T. A Creative Editor sees your story. Exactly, sees it the correct way it should greet your reader and leaves them wanting more with that WOW factor. The Executive Editor looks for cohesiveness, flow, while the Copy Editor does the final grunt work, spelling, sentence structure, yada,yada….
It is not the Manuscript, your baby, you birthed and nourished. No, it is better and still your story, only tighter. Now, don't get me wrong. If an editor is editing your manuscript for publication it is thoroughly delightful. You wouldn't have gotten this far. With that said, now it will be FABULOUS!!!!
After working with my Creative Editor, Lynn Moon, on Tigers Love Bubble Baths & Obsession Perfume (who knew!) for almost five months, that's once a week for a couple of hours, I can truthfully say I am forever grateful. What I learned and am applying to editing a previous manuscript is priceless. And here I thought it was damn good before…
TIPS: Tell less, Show more. Use those Thesaurus verbs and not always the same ones. Put the reader into the action instead of telling them what's going on.
Stop with the Data Dumps. Yikes, if you're bored and flipping through pages you're in a data dump. Get it into creative dialogue.
There's only one voice in a break segment or chapter. Not every character's thoughts and feelings.
Learn how to jump between past and present with it making sense. If you say, "Wait, what's going on" It ain't working properly.
And speaking of LY words, Lose them. It's lazy writing. Sometimes, tight short sentences are enough. Use dialogue tags properly. Those are said, asked…Keeps the reader on track.
Someday, when your Book is judged for an award where everything is taken into account receiving points, you'll say, "Hey. It was all worth it." I did. Until next time, Happy New Year!
My best to you always,
Mary K. Savarese