Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

It wasn’t that I was looking for a writing book to read. But I find that I’m a lot more open to writing books or writing advice or writing tips these days. I blame this entirely on joining the AbsoluteWrite community, where I spend my days geeking out on writing topics.

Several posters on AW recommended Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, 2nd edition, by Renni Browne and Dave King.

Not only did I find the book helpful and insightful, it’s also the first book I’ve highlighted on my Kindle. I’ll go back and do the writing exercises in there some other time. I might buy the hard copy for that. Having to flip back to the chapter and then go back to the writing exercises feels like so much more of a chore on a Kindle.

I like these ideas on narrative summary, something I have difficulty finding the balance of:

Narrative summary has its uses, the main one being to vary the rhythm and texture of your writing. Scenes are immediate and engaging, but scene after scene without a break can become relentless and exhausting, especially if you tend to write brief, intense scenes. 

I also enjoyed this passage, on proportion:

If you have some plot development that you want to come as a surprise, spend less space on it before you spring it on your readers. 


6 thoughts on “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

  1. Definitely get it in hard copy. It was a quick read on the Kindle, but I find having to flip and back and forth on it to be annoying. I also enjoyed Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell and The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing. I liked them because they have practical tips instead of too much theory.

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  2. I'll have to get the hard copy so I can highlight and mark up to my heart's content. Do you have any other go-to writing books? Now that I've found good writing books in the sea of writing book, I'm curious about others.

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