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About Writing Right: The Blog

HOW OFTEN TO EDIT

A writer-type fella posted a question online the other day on how many edits an author should give his book before considering it finished. Here's what I replied.

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Congratulations. You received not only two previous answers to your question but also two horrible previous answers. That's batting a thousand. It might be a new online record.

 

For the respondent who said, "For newer writers, it's prob beat to only do do after you've finished your piece," forget him. Anyone incapable of editing the first fifteen words of his own response about editing so that it's understandable is incapable of offering a cogent and meaningful response.

 

For the other respondent who advised you to "Try to get it right the first time around!" when you're on a tight deadline, well, really? Isn't that what writing is all about? Trying to get it right the first time around? And isn't the purpose of editing to go back and revise those things you failed to get right the first time around? Am I missing something here? Read More 

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LIVE IT TO WRITE IT?

I ran across a question the other day that went something like this: Must an author only write a novel about something he has personally experienced? Well, I like shooting ducks in a barrel, so here's how I responded.

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First, is this a serious question, or did you lose a bet? If you read the other two responses you've received as of this writing, you know what I mean.

 

Second, if you read those responses, you should also know enough to take both of them with a big grain of salt. The respondent peddling a book telling how long it takes to write a novel, what you should do "about your first draft" (whatever that means!), and how to revise is ridiculous. Making blanket statements designed to fit every personality, work ethic, and talent level is a waste of time and energy. There is no blueprint for writing a novel—only suggestions on various ways to do it.  Read More 

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