How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Change of Scenery

smiley bandagedDon't you just hate it when you break a nail? That's exactly what happened to me at my son's 7th birthday party when I was trying to open a box for him. Rrrrrrrrrrrip! Right into the quick. I screamed, cried, and looked at the blood, but maybe not in that order. It had been a long, long time since I'd had a broken nail. A chip is really no big deal. A bummer, but painless. This was no simple chip; it was a bad break. It has taken about four weeks to heal. I tell you this because I found a way to relate it to life and to writing. The thing is, I had a very small crack at the edge of my nail for a long time. I kept thinking I needed to put some super glue on it to help protect it, but I never did, until it was too late.

Don't let a small crack go unnoticed in your manuscripts. Repair it before it causes a larger problem that takes even longer to fix. Find the problems that you know exist. Rework those scenes.

If you do, you can save yourself time and agony. Revising is a lot like a change of scenery, like getting a breath of fresh air after you've been in a stuffy room all day. In a picture book, even one word can make a difference between being polished and being almost there.

  • Listen to the parts that seem off.
  • Practice being sparse with your words.
  • Prepare ahead of time by writing a short plot line.
  • Look at weak verbs and replace with strong ones.
  • Reorganize paragraphs to give a better flow. 
  • Cut unnecessary sentences.
  • Don't be afraid to add new material when needed.
So, be proactive and use super glue. Maybe your story will be polished in less than four weeks.

What have you done lately to revise? I just sent my first book out to the second publisher on my list. Six months of waiting. I'm hoping for a great Christmas this year...


Keep on keepin' on...

4 comments:

  1. Hi Christie - I have an award for you on my blog! Please stop by.

    Jennifer Young (Castles in the Sky)
    http://jennyleeyoung.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Super glue. Ha! Love it! All great advice. Revising can be harder than writing a first draft.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Revision can be so hard and it is so easy to keep putting it off - thanks for the thoughtful post, has inspired me to go and revise some more :)

    I am excited for you and your Christmas!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jennifer, Thanks for the award! You should check out my blog post for tomorrow. (Saturday 10 AM)

    Emily, And yet for some reason, I procrastinate the first drafts up until I get in the groove. I enjoy revising more than the first draft.

    Grillyfish, I'm glad I could inspire you. Right now, I'm working on 7 different stories!

    ReplyDelete

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