One of the hardest challenges of a writer is you can't see the mistakes like other's do. I have seen this time and time again. In fact, people point out something for us to fix and we just told our critique partner that they were doing the same thing.
But, what is really getting to me is the attitude of a lot of editor's today, they are changing the rules. Of course you don't want to change the 'voice' of a writer, but writing issues are just that, mistakes.
So, I thought maybe talk about a different issue each day on the blog and hopefully get people to talk about these creative writing challenges. There is always something to learn, and I am up for new ideas myself.
I feel fortunate to have had such a wonderful writing coach. Janet Roots taught me a lot about creative writing skills and I soaked up the knowledge like a wet sponge. She is from Europe and they are more rigid about sticking to the 'rules' of creative writing, which I have to say, makes for a more tighter and cleaner read. I wish the newer American editors would stick to these rules themselves. The books out there would be not only good stories, but great reads.
Today I thought we could talk about cutting where we need too, and keeping what's important to the story. I have found one of the hardest things to do is delete a sentence, or even a scene that's not necessary for the book.
1. Don't fall in love with a line, you might need to get rid of it because it doesn't add anything to your book.
2. When you are in the process of revisions on your manuscript, look at each scene and ask yourself, does this really add to the story? Is it important enough to write a scene for?
3. As you revise, look at each sentence and see what words you can cut. For example, go through your manuscript and do a find on each sentence that starts with But or And, and see if you can rid yourself of the But and And. You will find that you won't need a lot of them.
4. And finally, watch your info dump areas. Can you tell this information in dialog as apposed to inner thoughts? This is a great tool for character building.
So, those are my suggestions for cutting, and hopefully, enriching your writing. I know that it's hard to make yourself cut, especially a whole scene, but if it isn't important you are leaving your reader left to skim certain scenes. Which takes away from what you're trying to accomplish, a loyal reader of your books.
What do you do to cut down your manuscripts? Do you take the time to get rid of the info dump?
Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts on this subject. Next blog I will talk about redundancy.
Until Monday, have a great weekend! Love, Lisa