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Shamrock

What to look for when doing the final edit.

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I have finished the revision of my WIP. The next step is to go through the hard copy with a red pen for delete and green for change.

 

This is a final edit before it goes for copy edit. It has grown from 75k to 88k as I have developed one character's story more.  Not massive and within the recommended word count for thrillers. 

 

What would you be looking for to cure or change?

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  1. Filter words.
  2. too many adverbs
  3. repeating yourself
  4. over clarifying
  5. writer crutch words and phrases.

One read through and edit for each. I recommend getting a free account to Asana and setting up a project so you can keep track of progress.

 

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As an editor, I read for flow, comprehension and pacing, along with smooth transitions. I've learned to read everything 'aloud' in my head as if I was saying the words. That way, clunky sentences, overly wordy text and other problems become obvious. The first six pages set the stage for the rest of the book. Make sure that opening has the right tone and the right pacing.

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Actually, you might try a variation of what robg213 says, and read it out loud to yourself.  Failing that, you could get one of the text to speech programs to read it for you so you can hear for yourself such things as flow, pacing, comprehension and other niceties.  Believe me, it works.  There is no substitute for hearing your works read out loud to you.

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filter words are any words that place a filter between author or reader. See, heard, feel and their derivatives. I'm reading your novel, and I want to see through the protagonist's eyes. If you write "Patterson saw the man", I didn't see it but Patterson did. A filter is now between myself and the book. Enough filters and you pop me out of the reading experience completely. Readers eventually give up on novels that do this consistently.

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Thanks everyone. 

I started working on this over the past few days.

I was amazed at how times I repeated.some words.

Thanks to the wonders of Word's find and replace tool I managed to reeduce many of them. 

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Oh I wouldn't say that about Microsoft Word. I think the best cure for repeating words is a good thesaurus. I use online dictionaries and on occasion, an online thesaurus. Saving time is less important than gaining experience and that requires a lot of work and a level of self-discipline. Our head writer was at a convention and was at a panel talk when he was asked: "What is your secret?" His response: A lot of hard work. Followed by: "No, no. What is your secret?" And the response: "You have to work at it, consistently, for a long time." That disappointed a few people who were looking for the "get rich quick" secret.

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I can see where Scrivener works but I have a few thoughts:

 

Research is hard. It is time consuming. One series of books we did involved finding the "best" books on non-Western mythology. Yes, books. The internet can be distracting and while a good starting point for research, it does not beat the kind of in-depth research I've learned how to do. I have to locate factual information quickly so I rely on identified experts from identified sources.

 

I know of few people who write books entirely from front to back. Portions of the middle and toward the end suggest themselves during the creative process. That all gets written down. Then the rest of the book gets done. Sometimes the book almost writes itself or it's a long haul. Other things occur like inventing a plausible way to get a character out of a tight spot. In one case, after struggling with it for a day, I set that aside and finished other things. A few days later, an answer I liked came to me and I dropped it in.

 

Our editor-in-chief usually has to take manuscripts apart and work on them in sections. He covers each section in whatever order he likes and drops in whatever changes need to be made.

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Research has to be done by hand. Convenience is nice but like any tool, word processing systems/apps are only as good as the user.

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2 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

I recently switched to Scrivener and I wouldn't go back.

I'm a Scrivener fan as well. I love it in the outlining and drafting stages. However, after I sent my manuscript to my editor, I've found it easier to use Word again so that I could go through all her comments and suggested edits. And my formatting tools also import the manuscript from Word, so I can see myself using Scrivener to write my first drafts, then Word for post-edited drafts.

 

1 hour ago, Shamrock said:

I tried Scrivener and it did my head in. 

There's definitely a learning curve. I probably only use a tiny percentage of its functions. Have you tried one of the tutorial videos?

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When I tried Scrivener five years ago, I found it clunky. Word suits me fine, but maybe I don't know what I am missing. Does Scrivener lend itself more to fiction or nonfiction?

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On 10/10/2019 at 5:26 PM, Shamrock said:

What do you mean by 'filter words' ?

Here’s a list of filter words for you to watch out for:

to see

to hear

to think

to touch

to wonder

to realize

to watch

to look

to seem

to feel (or feel like)

can

to decide

to sound (or sound like)

to notice

to be able to

to note

to experience

 

I believe there are more, but this is a good list to start. If you search filter words, on this site, you should find lots of threads, with a ton of links. Hope this helps! 😊 

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On 10/10/2019 at 4:16 PM, Shamrock said:

I have finished the revision of my WIP

By the way, congratulations!!! 😊

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4 hours ago, KMK said:

Does Scrivener lend itself more to fiction or nonfiction?

 

Either. Both. There's a new Beta version for Windows and Scrivener 3.0 for Mac is the current industry standard. The Windows 3.0 version should be out by the end of October, although it has slid from the end of August and might slide a tad more before release, but it's very close. I'm using the Beta right now for all my writing. It's come a long way from the beginning.

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On 10/11/2019 at 1:20 AM, Nicholas Reicher said:

If you write "Patterson saw the man", I didn't see it but Patterson did.

You know, I've never fully understood what filter words are until I read this. Thanks, Nicholas! 

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Yes thanks  Nicholas. I did an exercise cutting one filter word down which cropped up at an alarming frequency in my wip. It has now been significantly reduced.

 

I have not.come across the  Beta for windows so may take a look at that. 

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Congratulations, @Shamrock!! One thing I had to do even at this point... triple check those internal consistency things like timestamps, clothing colors, etc. 

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Several people here have suggested that you put it aside for a couple weeks or more. Do something else, and then come back to it. Fill up your brain with other stuff, so it forgets what you have just sweat blood and tears over. (Maybe that's not the explanation, but it works for me.)

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