Self-editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni BrowneSelf-editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne

Self-editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

byRenni Browne, Dave King

Paperback | April 13, 2004

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Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories.

In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.

Renni Browne, once senior editor for William Morrow and other companies, left mainstream publishing in 1980 to found The Editorial Department, a national book-editing company.
Title:Self-editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into PrintFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.65 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.31 × 0.65 inPublished:April 13, 2004Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060545690

ISBN - 13:9780060545697


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great reference to have on every writer's bookshelf Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King is an excellent editing book that isn’t at all boring. At the end of each chapter, there’s a check list for quick consultation or to see if you understood the main points. And after that, there are questions to see if you can fix the problems that that chapter pointed out, none of which I did, but they seemed helpful. Their answers were in the back of the book. “As you read, be on the lookout for places where you are tempted to change the wording. Give in to this temptation whenever you can.” (112) Each chapter is divided into the small sections that help you learn with examples from other works or novels in between every few points. There were hints on how to read your work and notice certain details to help you improve in that aspect and make you aware of your own writing. The following are the chapters in the book and some points I learned. Of course the entire chapter covers much more than what I state below: 1. Show and Tell: Rather than saying the word explicitly, sometimes when you show the character doing a certain action, the point is made clear. Thus, needless explanations aren’t needed. “Rather than telling your readers that your hero’s car is an old broken-down wreck, you can show him twisting two bare wires together to turn on the headlights or driving through a puddle and being sprayed from the holes in the floor.” (18) 2. Characterization and Exposition: “What information (technical details, characters’ past histories, backgrounds on locations or families) do your readers need in order to understand your story? At what point in the story do they need to know it?” (37) 3. Point of View: If you want intimacy, use first person. If you use the third person point of view, then don’t make it confusing by going through each of the characters’ minds in the same scene without having a space in between. 4. Proportion: “Are the details you give the ones your viewpoint character would notice?” (80) 5. Dialogue Mechanics: Do not explain your dialogue, it’ll annoy readers. Such as if your dialogue portrays annoyance, don’t say ‘she said, annoyed.’ But if your dialogue doesn’t portray the annoyance well enough, then change it so it does. 6. See How It Works: Read your dialogue aloud and see if it sounds realistic. 7. Interior Monologue: Don’t use interior monologue for things that should be told. 8. Easy Beats: Between quotes, characters move around or do something, these actions are called beats. Don’t interrupt the dialogue with too many actions. Usually readers just need a few beats to involve them in the scene. And don’t use clichés. 9. Breaking Up Is Easy to Do: Changing the number of paragraphs in the scene might heighten the suspense. Make sure there aren’t paragraphs that are more than half a page long. 10. Once Is Usually Enough: Don’t repeat the same thing again and again in different words or the same. The more times the same thing is repeated, the weaker the effect is. 11. Sophistication: Stay away from verbs ending in –ing and phrases with ‘as’. Also, limit –ly adverbs and don’t italicise many verbs. 12. Voice: Reread your story and look for lines that you like, and also look out for lines that “make you wince or seem to fall flat…” (229) 5/5
Date published: 2010-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best self-help book for writers! This book was recommended by my editor, I read it in two days - only because I had to work and sleep. I found it fundamental in developing a solid, professional manuscript and fine tuning the little details of story development. If there ever was an easy to follow, must have book to advance the careers of aspiring writers - this is it.
Date published: 2010-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Every writer should read this book. Want to improve your fiction writing skills? Then this is the book to buy. The editors discuss the most common problems they have to fix when doing their jobs - and give the aspiring author the skills necessary to make their work more professional and become better writers. The book's chapters each focus on one issue, giving examples of how to and how not to use the techniques, a check list of things to watch for in your writing and exercises to make sure you understand what they're teaching. The writing is clear, to the point, and designed to turn a passable manuscript into something publishers will be fighting to represent.
Date published: 2009-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent reference book As I read this I was compelled to begin the editing process on my manuscript immediately - the insights and advice to improve your writing are great. A must have for beginning novelists like me.
Date published: 2009-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fiction Writer's BIBLE! Don't write without it! I've been using Self-Editing for Fiction Writers for the past few years and find it invaluable. I have even recommended it to two writers' groups in Edmonton, Alberta, plus numerous authors. Although there are some tips/suggestions that I may not agree with (such as using 'said' virtually exclusively), I use each chapter as a checklist when editing my work. I find the chapters on Point of View (POV), dialogue, interior monologue and beats most useful and easy to understand. Along with explanations and examples, there are short exercises you can do to help improve your writing and editing. I would suggest writers remember some of these suggestions are based on preference while others follow basic writing rules. If you are a fiction writer--whether short stories or novel--I highly recommend this book by Renni Browne and Dave King. You won't be disappointed! Cheryl Kaye Tardif bestselling author
Date published: 2008-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A handy guide for aspiring writers This is a great book for anyone who has taken the first step and gotten a draft of a fictional work on paper, and is unsure where to go next. Browne and King are experts who know what makes good and, more importantly, saleable fiction.
Date published: 2005-11-21

Editorial Reviews

“A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache.”(Library Journal)