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Reviews from
A Little Bit about Editing


A few things to watch for

  58 total reviews 
Comment by
Muffins
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This is a detailed point by point article on the do and do not of writing which is extremely welcome. I prefer reading about these topics from published writers. I feel after years of punching the keyboard and stacking rejection slip which have now turned into checks( sometimes)a writer as a solid grip on what works and does not. Thanks for this information.

This rating does not count towards story rating or author rank.
The highest and the lowest rating are not included in calculations.


 Comment Written 19-Mar-2014



reply by the author on 19-Mar-2014
    Thanks for reviewing this for the spectacular payment of two cents. I appreciate it. Good luck with your writing.
Comment by
Osiek
 
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Okay...What I am looking for are top ten things to look for when editing your own work.

This has some nice suggestions. I was wondering about the use of "was" and "were"...is it necessary to keep all of them out?

I spotted something to change:


"(Dialog) needs to move the story along and resemble...

The other times this word is used it is spelled "dialogue"



 Comment Written 28-Sep-2011



reply by the author on 28-Sep-2011
    Dialog is sort of an American spelling of dialogue. I should have been consistent, however.

    Any form of the verb 'to be' needs close scrutiny when you edit, but no, they don't all have to go. You just have to be very critical. It's easy to say: The dog was thin. "Was" just sort of sits there. How much better to say: The starving dog's ribs showed beneath its mangy hide.The same with: He was running. Yeah? Was he jogging, sprinting, trotting or what? You could say: It was raining when she left the store, but again, your reader doesn't get a mental picture. Is the poor girl a mess, soaked to the skin because she forgot her umbrella? Or is it only sprinkling big drops on the sidewalk? Just be very critical about was/were/had been to be sure that's all you can do with the scene. I'll PM you with what I believe are the top 10 things to look for, and maybe I'll write it up and get credit for it later.

reply by Osiek on 28-Sep-2011
    I am looking forward to reading it. There are so many new writers that need this kind of assistance. I try to help, but I feel myself limited with the lack of full knowledge and understanding. A litle knowledge can get one into a lot of trouble...
Comment by
Kaine Darcwater
 
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What you write makes so much sense in a business where everyone believes themselves to be expert editors. I love how you come right out and explain what should be done. You do not dilly-dally around. You give examples instead of saying, do this and that. If I only had you helping me edit some of my FanStory posts, I would know for a fact they were correct edits. Kudos.


 Comment Written 20-Sep-2011



reply by the author on 21-Sep-2011
    Haven't the time. I'm editing my own novel and rewriting chunks of it, and the publisher is breathing down my neck. Thanks for the review, Bryan.
Comment by
Turtlestage5
 
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Hi Nor,

I read through this piece, and it was neat because I just finished reading through a book -- 38 common mistakes writers make, or something like that. I only remember the 38 because my brother made fun of the odd number... why not 40... or 35?

But anyway, so many of the topics brought up in your essay were in that book and reading them again, in a different voice, I was understanding them and appreciating the concepts all over again.

I recall the times its been pointed out to me... hey she can't flinch before something happens. Using the cliche... horse before the cart, really takes the complicated words... stimuli and response, to something ground level that people can grasp the image on. I liked the use.

Shesh. I should have read this before I fretted over if Janice had to turn a knob left or right! (Sometimes in some essays, they warn about too many generics... like She pulled out her gun and got in her car... versus, She pulled out her Gloc and hopped in her Suberu, or Ford Pinto.

A good essay here, with points that really connected, and had I only read it a few days sooner! Would have saved some brain cells.

The only thing I wondered was on the first sentence...

Some writers may hear '

Only because some writers may not have heard

The only thing I could find, this contained a good mix of information.

Turtle.


 Comment Written 26-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 26-Jan-2011
    Oh yes, Turtle. Jack Bickham's book, and Bickham was a teacher at the University of Oklahoma. He makes some good points. As for the specifics, I like them. About that left vs right thing, nah. That's not being specific, exactly, and it can start the reader wondering which way his or her valves turn and send them off to the tap to find out -- you want them to keep reading!

    I'll have to look at that first sentence to see what you mean.

    I never have a character react, because when I write, I AM the character. I'll react only when someone else does something to which I can react.
Comment by
Slush Pile
 
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Another GREAT lesson, Nor. Thank you for giving of your time and energy to those of us who appreciate it greatly. :-) Denny


 Comment Written 26-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 26-Jan-2011
    I enjoy doing it, Denny. Thanks for reviewing and for your interest.
Comment by
Carrie Smith
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Hi there, I have been AWOL from FS for a while, but have finally posted and started reviewing again and so enjoying it. You are the know all and say all of writing. I run off most of you writes since they are so much help. Did that sentence need a comma? Thank you for all your detailed lessons to struggling writers like me. Best regards...Carrie


 Comment Written 26-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 26-Jan-2011
    Yeah, after "writes." Gosh, Carrie, thanks for a great review. I'll be posting more of these little things, and I'm glad you enjoy them.

reply by Carrie Smith on 26-Jan-2011
    Yeah, there needs to be a comma there. I have a hard time with commas. I do ejoy them and hopefully learnig! Gratefully...Susan
Comment by
Buctar
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Nor:

Good piece with good information. I enjoyed the read and found no nits to pick. I appreciate all the writing tips you post.

Bill


 Comment Written 26-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 26-Jan-2011
    Thanks, Bill. It's keeping me busy, but every time I post one of these, people tell me how much help they are. Thanks for reviewing.
Comment by
Pen&Ink
 
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Hi Nor,

Another very informative and encouraging bit of instruction. These suggestions and hints are most appreciated. Thank you so much.

Ray


 Comment Written 25-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 25-Jan-2011
    Hi, Ray, I'll be writing more of them, you can bet on it. Thanks for the review and the stars.
Comment by
penelope
 
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I always enjoy your no-nonsense writing articles, Nor. Have you had any of your novels published yet? My, there are so many books out there on writing. It's hard to get it all right, but I've learned so much on FanStory, although I do like a bit of description myself,and the rebellious side of me will take on most of yours and others' writing rules, I will do my own thing. I hate writing to a formula and am delighted when I come across something different with rambling sentences and fascinating characters. Great job, Penelope


 Comment Written 25-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 25-Jan-2011
    I like description too. The thing is, trying to make it creative and not like an information dump -- the way backstory can be. I plan to publish one of my novels with Omega later this year. Always good to hear from you.
Comment by
Loyd C Taylor, Sr.
 
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Hello there good friend and you are very kind to try to be so helpful with your post, thank you. I am honored that you used my photo as well. I wish you the best! Loyd


 Comment Written 25-Jan-2011



reply by the author on 25-Jan-2011
    Thanks, Loyd. It's a useful photo!
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