This week: Third Times the CharmEdited by: Kimchi
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Hello, I'm Kimchi. Here I hope to share tips on the art and craft of writing, from idea to implementation, from editing to submission. Have an idea for a topic, tricks for phrasing? All suggestions are welcome.
What does Cicero have in common with your Fairy Godmother?
Wishes come in threes, and so do rhetorical devices.
The power of three is less about magic than about how our brains process information. The first instance our brains disregard any action as a fluke, the second time it takes note in short term memory, and the third time it attaches the action to other actions and files it in long term memory. Veni, vidi, vici. (I came, I saw, I conquered).
The third time is the charm because the third time is where experience, ingenuity, and intensity collide in a trifecta of learning. Lightning does strike once, twice, and even thrice if we fail to take note of the first two times and prepare for the worst. If it strikes three times it ain't because the supercomputer between your ears didn't warn you twice!
The point is, if the reader isn't getting the point, maybe it's time to check the manuscript and add a second and third reminder for drama, emphasis, or outright symbolism. Get it? Got it? Good!
Repetition and Rhetorical Flow
Reading is the best teacher of writing. Check out the flow, rhetoric, and repetition in these quality stories and apply the lessons to your own writing.
He realizes, in the end, that he had never controlled the machine.
There once was a giant, many he held captive
Strong opinions he had, though none were adaptive
Ageless it is, this Anger of ours, from a child's first learning of the word No! to its use in frustration against parents who snicker softly behind their hands.
I sit outside my house in the dead of night, my family are asleep inside.
Thoughts are tumbling through my head, it is not easy to make sense of a day like today.
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Up for Discussion
What is your favorite rhetorical or literary tool? Why?
Comments on "For Authors Newsletter (May 2, 2012)"
Walt J. Rimmer : I've found that sometimes, when I try to edit (which I am ghastly at and usually give up on doing) the main problem I face is actually going back over what I've written. It's almost like my brain is going, "I've read this before, it's not very good and I know the whole thing. I wrote it. It's boring. Move on to something else." Sometimes I push past this for a while, but eventually it gets the better of me. It this just me? And if not, do you have any advice on how to work on it?
Everyone says to put the item away for a while, and I've found that advice useful. There's a window of opportunity somewhere between active memorization of each word and forgetting your original intent where editing is smooth and enjoyable. Finding that window is the hard part because it differs for each chapter or story.
Adriana Noir :
Hey, Kim! Great advice. There's so many people out there who try to edit as they write and get things perfect the first go round. The problem is, your battling yourself since editing and creating are activities that center in opposite sides of the brain. I've just recently learned how to let go a little myself and I can't begin to stress how much easier and funner writing has become! Save those red pens for last, people
magicmayflower: I know all this, yet get soooooo lazy, tired, other things to do. It's a great reminder.
CreativebyNature : Thanks for the advice; what also helps a writer is if and when they do write, to write only so much (those who write novels, etc.) put it down for a few days, return to what was written and edit it. What also helps is when a writer quickly jots down a paragraph to then read it out loud to oneself in order for the writer hear themselves if they make sense in what they are trying to deliver as a message in their writings.
Diane : Thank you for this. I have not seen anything like it before - steps to editing technique. Looking forward to next month's newsletter on how to personalise the process!
A.J. Barretts : Use your find ability on the computer and search out the -ly words and eliminate, usually they are not needed or can be replaced with another word that is more exciting.
boohat : What if the 'bad' guy is actually your self? Then what should you do?
BIG BAD WOLF Wants Premium : Sometimes you need a system.
SpringMistress : I must say I enjoyed your "Edit Thyself" newsletter this month. I relate to it completely. When I do my R&Rs, it's not too difficult for me to pick a piece apart. However, when it comes to MY work. I sit and look at the screen in a daze. I can read my work and be lost as to how to fix it. I'm tempted to do a personal R&R for my work in the same way I do for others. With one exception... It'll be for my eyes only.
Joto-Kai : I don't know about editing per se, but I love rewriting. Maybe I'm not doing it right, just doing the fun stuff, but still. So much easier than pounding out new material.
troy ulysses davis : Excellent advice and very informative.
S.M Ferguson off for surgery : Fantastic Newsletter, Kimchi! I can't wait to start using your advice and check out the great links. Revision is the toughest part of the writing process for me. Really looking forward to your next Newsletter!
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