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“5/5 A Fiction Writer's BIBLE! Don't write without it!
“I own both the original hard cover and a soft cover. Indispensable. Best book there is (in my opinion) on dialogue mechanics. A keeper of a keeper. Includes common mistakes newbie writers make with dialogue.”Catherine E. McLean wrote this review Thursday, April 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is an excellent resource when you are first learning to edit your own stuff. For a modest price, this book leads you through the most egregious errors and uses examples from popular fiction most people are aware of to show what is good and bad. The only thing which kept me from giving it a 5th star is this advice will only get your manuscript ready to put on a real editors desk. In this age of self-publishing, you will need to add another layer of editing if you can't afford to pay an outside editor to make your book ready for the reader. For the miniscule sum to purchase this book, it was money well spent.”Anna Erishkigal wrote this review Friday, March 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I highly recommend this book. There are clear examples of how to improve a manuscript through editing and revision. Familiar topics such as ‘showing versus telling’ are handled with fresh clarity, and though I have heard the advice hundreds of times, I found Browne and King’s discussion of the topic exciting to read. The examples and analysis are helpful. (I did not do all the exercises, because I wanted to apply the techniques to my writing rather than labor over the text provided in the book. I plan to read the book several times, and may do the exercises next time.)
From the table of contents: Show and Tell, Characterization and Exposition, Point of View, Proportion, Dialogue Mechanics, See How it Sounds, Interior Monologue, Easy Beats, Breaking Up is Easy to Do, Once is Usually Enough, Sophistication, Voice
I began implementing the advice immediately. I enjoy writing dialogue and was not seeking help in this area; however, I used their dialogue tips (especially beats) and found them useful. Other areas that are more difficult, such as Sophistication and Voice, improved with application of their suggestions. If you are interested in improving your writing, or editing for someone else, I would make this book part of your collection.
New ideas: I experienced a light bulb moment when Browne and King explained how repetition of an effect can weaken the writing. This can occur on a large scale or a small scale. After reading the examples and seeking similar sections of my own writing, I saw these little quagmires of weak writing are easy to miss. I tried a few changes and was pleased with the improved result.
Check this one out: borrow it from a friend or find it at the library if you must. The title might be misleading. The book does not suggest self-editing only. All writers should be masters of self-editing, even if they have a good critique group or money to pay professional editors.
“Self-Editing for Fiction Writers - In the writing reference book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, the editing-authors teach the would-be writer to apply editing techniques they developed. There are important distinctions in writing reference, for example: 1. Writing craft and 2. Fiction mechanics. My favorite book on the topic of craft is Book in a Month; my favorite book on the topic of mechanics is Self-Editing. Self-Editing has a focus on fiction mechanics: how to handle dialogue, point of view, exposition, character introduction, etc. The authors take examples of bad dialogue or second-hand reporting right out of the classics and show how to rectify them. There are plenty of examples, checklists and exercises at the end of each chapter and a comprehensive test covering all the self-editing principles. With the rise of self-publishing and the decline of brick and mortar book sellers- editors, agents and publishers expect that submissions are pre-edited. Your challenge as a writer is to take Self-Editing as far as you can yourself, in the process strengthening your skills as a writer. ”CHAD SCHIMKE wrote this review Saturday, January 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This superb summary of the faults which typically pepper an amateur writer's work comes complete with suggestions on how to eradicate them from your writing.
There's advice on how to advance the story through dialogue rather than by lengthy exposition; how to restrict use of adverbs and adjectives by picking better verbs and nouns; tips on realism for dialogue and the mechanics of speaker identifiers; pacing, tone and style; point of view; show not tell; characterisation; interior monologue, etc.etc.
The beauty of this book is that the authors select text from real books, often classics, and show where the author made elementary mistakes.
I read my next book with all this in mind and realised how good the author was. Now I need to put it all into practice.”
“Fantastic resource for all aspiring writers. I can testify that interest in my books and book sales increased after reading this book and putting the principles into practice. If you are an author, buy this book, do the exercises and continue to reread it to brush up on your skills and you see success.”Benjamin Reynolds wrote this review Thursday, August 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If you write or would like to, you need to read this book as soon as possible. Good, simple advice to separate the amateur from the sophisticate.”Heather O wrote this review Sunday, July 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Best book on editing”Mat Clarke wrote this review Friday, February 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book offers specific suggestions for a fiction writer to make their writing more professional. Beginning with show don't tell and moving on to everything from point of view to interior dialogue, this book gives real suggestions for revision. ”Jill D wrote this review Saturday, January 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No