Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hints and Tips on How to Edit Fantasy Novels

Museitup Writer's Conference is on this week. With the inspiration a week filled with workshops brings, it is likely a few of us will finally complete a draft manuscript. If not in Oct, November is NaNoWriMo. Where writers struggle to complete 50,000 words in a month. So I am re posting a few hints and tips on creative writing  for the Fantasy author. 

When it is time to edit.
Once you have penned your manuscript, leave the novel to age for a few weeks, or months. Then take the time to polish your work while pursuing publishers. 
This isn’t the signal to panic, but to take a deep breath and find time to spend going over your story. Even more than when you are writing, you will need a Do Not Disturb sign. (A lesson learnt from experience.) 
 Go back over the plot. 
Does the novel follow the Fantasy Plot Arc? 
The basic Arc is when your Hero embarks on his quest, faces antagonists, develops through conflict, prevails in a climax and loose ends are tied to the satisfaction of your reader in the denouement. As you read, can you count five instances where the plot is propelled forward?
If not consider omitting scenes that deviate from the plot. Grammar. While re reading, have a list of things to look for to improve your writing. 
For instance, you should know by now the various words to avoid. Check and correct the overuse of adverbs, adjectives, passive voice, telling not showing, clichés, repetitive words and phrases, or altered POV. Commas. Find the rules for your region.
They differ from country to country and cause a great deal of confusion. 
Once you have the rules for your region, or the region of the publisher and readers of your target audience, apply them throughout your work.
Read your work aloud. Does every sentence flow?
Print out your manuscript once you feel it is polished and re read it. Everything looks different in print. Then go over it again on the computer. If possible, seek the help of other readers, writers. Have them review your work and look for plot flaws or grammatical errors. 
A good critique group will help at this stage if you haven't already joined on. Listen and learn and take on board all the information that is relevant to your work. 
Keep writing.

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