The Revision Process - Part Deux
Kate Elliot continues her thoughts on revising and focusing your manuscript:
I have worked massively hard in the last five years on the line editing level. Just as examples, these are things I work on constantly (you’ll find your own set):
Doubled actions that aren’t necessary: “He turned and walked to the door.” Except in rare circumstances, you don’t need “turned.” He really can just walk to the door.
As above, five details when the two best and most evocative make your point more clear.
On the scene level, mooshy conversations that can be tightened up by examining what the actual point of the conversation is and then sculpting it to that point.
The squoogy words that I take out incessantly but of which there are always more than I can possibly eradicate: like almost very a little but then and so, and so on.
And then, once I’ve done a thorough cut through all the clutter, by having cut through all that, I open up the thicket of words enough that I can find MORE to cut that wasn’t visible before.
I personally probably am not capable of working on all three scales--small, medium, and large--at the same time. I tend to have to settle my large scale issues over the course of Alpha and Beta Drafts before I can tackle the medium and small scales, although the truth is that to some degree I’m always working on the medium and small scales as I read back over things I’ve written and make constant changes as I go.