Editing tips for fiction Writers - #WriteTip #GetPublished

  A few editing tips I have learned along the way.

Let's add action and remove bulk.

Search and Destroy the following...
 
1 - ly words, especially in dialogue tags.
 

These remove the action and tell as apposed to show the characters reaction.
In fact, by adding action to these tags, we can even do away with many of the 'saids' too. Remember every dialogue tag, even 'said. desrupts the reading flow, to some extent, though 'said' is safest.
This: "Annable, it's time for tea," she said loudly.
Or: She inhaled before calling, "Annabel, it's time for tea."
Other dialogue tags examples: 
"Stop calling me," she exclaimed. (exclaimed is a telling tag - these are bad. Remove them all, replace with either action, or said, or better still, nothing... make sure we know who's talking by voice, or another way.)
She frowned, "Stop calling me." (frowned is an action tag - these are better than a telling tag. They show instead of tell)
 
2 - Turn passive voice to active voice:
 
Such as, were, that, then, to be, words. We all know this rule, but it bears repeating. Some of these words will be fine (they are more a sign of something you could rewrite with more action, less passivity), but most can be terminated.
For a list of all passive words and a great tool to check your document for passivity, click.
This: It was cold and the wind was blowing so harshly that it burned my cheeks. (15 words)
OR: A harsh wind blew until my cheeks burned. (8 words)
 
3 - ing words are overused and must be replaced with action words. 
 
Re-write those sentences to say for example:
This: I was saving up my pocket money for that coat for over a year, before buying it. (17 words)
OR: I bought the coat after I saved my allowance for over a year. (13 words)
The first sentence is flimsy: she is saving, buying (not doing), and it took 17 words to say so.
The second sentence is robust and full of action, action words: saved, bought. She does it (action) and we saved 4 words.
More examples:
This: She started walking toward him. (5)
OR: She walked toward him. (4)
This: He began running to his car. (6)
Or : He ran to his car. (5)
Also, starting a sentence with ing words is a sure sign of passivity and inaction.
This: Starting to comb my hair, she said, "Your hair is lovely." (11)
OR : She combed my hair, "Your hair is lovely." (8) - we have action, saved 3 words and got rid of a dialogue tag!
 
4 - Get rid of excess or throwaway words

A lot of To tell the truth Going to go Along with the fact Of all people Anything but What on earth In the first place In order to In particular I’ve got to (We’ve got to, You’ve got to) Actually Almost Although Because Really Still Though Usually Like
You will find you can remove so many words for you MS without even changing the meaning or your sentence.
This: I think that I will have some of that cake. (10)
OR: I will have some cake (7)
And redundant phrases must get the boot too!
This: She
is able to run a mile without
breaking into a sweat.
OR : She can run a mile without sweating.
 
5 - De-cliche you MS
 
There a re so many cliches we use without even thinking about in our everyday speech, but when we come across them in fiction, it weakens the writing and the point the author tried to make.
Cliches:
She had butterflies in her stomach, after he kissed her.
He jumped into the frying pan, out of the fire.
at this point in time
don't hold your breath
easy as pie
 
The list is endless: LIST Find cliches in your MS here.
 
There are so many more tips for revision. These are just a few. Hope these are useful to you.

Author Bio

Shah WhartonShah’s father nurtured her love of the written word as a child, although her words remained private until recently, when she decided to apply her imagination to short stories, in 2010. Finding Esta is her debut novel, and the first volume of The Supes Series. Shah enjoys all good speculative fiction and is an avid Kindle abuser and cinema fan. On her blog, she discusses her writing, publishing, books and storytelling, and supports other authors. She is always happy to accept feedback so please do get in touch. 

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