Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/11647
For Authors: November 23, 2022 Issue [#11647]

 This week: The Other Half
  Edited by: Annette
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

"I'm a rewriter. That's the part I like best...once I have a pile of paper to work with, it's like having the pieces of a puzzle. I just have to put the pieces together to make a picture." ~ Judy Blume

"Books aren't written- they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it." ~ Michael Crichton

Word from our sponsor

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Letter from the editor

The Other Half

Writing is writing. It doesn't matter whether you are trying to write a short email to a co-worker or an epic to rival the Odyssey, writing is writing and you will have to do one thing with it no matter what: revise.

Any piece of writing starts out with a prewriting process.
It can be as simple as a pantser declaring, "I'm going to write the world's next great novel in 30 days."
The pantser's prewriting thoughts will be summed up in a few short words deciding genre and at least one main character.
It can be as involved as planner announcing, "I'm going to do this thing right and prepare my novel in a planned manner during the 31 days of October."
The planner's prewriting can be as simple as a solid one-page outline with a few details about the major characters or go all out with intense research and pretty much create a near-complete scaffolding of chapters and paragraph lists that only need to get filled in.

While a first draft is always going to be just that: a first draft, it's a good idea to try writing it with many details, active voice sentences, and in coherent paragraphs. This is the time to let it rip. No thought is too trivial, no detail unimportant, no utterance by any character pointless. Write like Red Smith suggests: "Sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."


You guessed it. This is where the real work starts. Time to kill your darlings.

Wordy fillers? Delete.
Long lead ins? Delete.
Trite phrases? Delete.
Make all the necessary changes to your text to make it clear and readable. Not all descriptions can or should be short, but if short and simple does it, consider your reader's attention span and which information you want them to retain from your story. Even in fiction, there is a transfer of (fictional) information. Details are needed but some are too detailed and bog the story down. Decide which is which.

Go over the text with a fine comb at search for spelling errors, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and check your paragraphs. This is the perfect time to ask a trusted fellow Writing.Com member to read over your story, chapter, or poem. Spotting errors is tricky to do by yourself because you know what you meant to write and will read that instead of what it really says.

Let your story breathe for a short time. At least one day. Read it and evaluate whether you achieved your purpose. If there is any dissonance, any doubt at all, go back to the editing stage.

The revision part should take you about half of the total writing time. That means, if you took one whole month to prewrite. One whole month to write, then give yourself two months for revisions.

How much time and effort do you spend on revisions?

Editor's Picks

Unstable(d) Writer's Challenge   (E)
A 12-month, intense writing Challenge
#2281662 by Shadow Prowler

NaNo Novel Editing Poll  (E)
A poll to find out how people edit their first draft NaNo novels
#2067183 by Choconut ~ Busy Writing!

To Err is Human; To Edit, Divine  (E)
Edit your work before you submit!!
#1934414 by Winnie Kay

Edit Points Explained  (E)
Details about the WDC Edit Points feature and the benefits for writers and reviewers
#1498347 by Charity Marie <3 Eyestar

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2159557 by Not Available.

Reviewing / Self Editing  (18+)
What it can add to your own writing
#2228978 by Bob'n Around

(Fun)damentals of Technical Writing  (ASR)
My foray into Technical Writing. Important notes and pointers will be documented here.
#1182354 by iKïyå§ama

Tilly's Reference Library  (E)
a collection of WDC and external resources
#2150970 by Tileira

Poems & Editing  (E)
Reasons for Editing Poetry - Article for Fantasy & Science Fiction Forum
#2076275 by Elfin Dragon-finally published

Twenty-three in Eleven   (13+)
I Write in 2023
#2284057 by Annette

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Ask & Answer

I received these replies to my last For Authors newsletter "Point of View that asked: Which point of view to you prefer to write? And which point of view do you prefer to read?

tucknits wrote: I had to think about this as I primarily write poetry. For me, the best poetry usually comes when I write from first-hand experience. It's not necessarily first person POV, but more like looking through a window at the topic of the poem. I don't think poetry can be limited to present tense, however. I have used present, past and future - here's one example "Silence. Thank you for this newsletter!

Thank you for your, well, point of view. I appreciate you bringing up poetry in this context. Poetry is much more personal, even free verse and fantastical poetry tends to be a way for the poet to confront or work through life events. One friend who cared for his dying mother for the last four months of her life dealt with it by writing a daily haiku about the things they went through. The grammatical point of view is secondary in poetry since the whole text isn't designed to meet grammar rules but instead address emotions.

buddhangela's a Crow Girl wrote: Thanks for the "quickie" on POV, with excellent examples! I've always written simple first person because it's what I read as a kid, and I only recently began experimenting with third person. Deciding which POV will work best for a story is now a question I ask myself-again and again! I'm sure I sound naïve and pre-newbie, but **so much to learn!** Thanks for this newsletter, it's always helpful!

Thank you for the comment. You don't sound naïve or pre-newbie. In creative writing, there are few things that are "wrong." Choosing the point of view is never wrong. It's going to be a personal preference.

JCosmos wrote: great summary and examples. You left out one point of view - the unreliable narrator's point of view. The Money Heist (both the Original Spanish and the recent Korean re-make) is a powerful example of this point of view. Powerful if done right. Confusing at times otherwise. Writing from multiple points of view with each chapter telling the story from another point of view can be effective but also confusing.

I left the unreliable narrator out of the examples from the authors here on the site, but I did mention George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice that tells each chapter from the point of view of another character.

Steven (PLEASE BUY MY BOOKS!) wrote: It's interesting that you say 3rd person PoV is outdated - I've seen more and more publishers ask for 3rd person limited. 1st person is still the dominant voice in young adult, though. The problem with 1st person, according to the publishers I work with, is that some readers feel alienated because the character whose head you're in may not be a person you can relate to.
I've read a couple of 2nd person books, and one was great, one terrible. But the old Choose-You-Own-Adventure books worked really well.

I don't say that 3rd person POV is outdated. I wrote "has been called outdated" and that I don't agree with that idea. Although I didn't write "I disagree." I do go on calling it the most versatile point of view, which was meant as an endorsement of 3rd person.

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