Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I (Suzanne) just received back revisions for a novel from an editor. I was really (really!) pleased that there weren't many changes to make. I don't know about you, but I tend to focus on the next assignment (even if it's revisions) and not ever pause to celebrate. Yahoo! I'm making progress in my craft!

With that thing I noticed, though, is that I have to re-work a few spots where I put in asides (also known as explanations) outside of dialogue.

It's always best to cut the explanation and weave it into dialogue.

A couple of tips I'd recommend:

Take a highlighter and mark every place where an explanation is mentioned outside of dialogue.

Cut the explanations and see how the dialogue reads without them. Better? Worse? If it's worse, then start rewriting your dialogue.

Should some of your longer passages be turned into scenes?

If one of your scenes seem to drag, try paragraphing a little more often.

Read your dialogue aloud. At some point or another, you should read aloud every word you write.

Now's the time to work and re-work your writing. View it as a craft, one that you're honing each time you have the objectivity to self-edit.

Source: Paraphrased from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King (Collins).