Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print
By Renni Browne and Dave King, Illustrated by George Booth
Published by Quill: Harper Collins in 1993.
In 2004, I was in an amazing critique group called the Mudskippers (For a 5 minute video about nature’s mudskippers click here.) As a group we Mudskippers read together and discussed a little book that has proven to be an invaluable resource for me year after year. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print.
At only 200 pocket-sized pages it seems slight. But every line of every page is packed with useful information.
I give this book 5 out of 5 highlighters.
Browne and King’s twelve chapters cover with clarity and precision key areas that every fiction writer needs to hone.
Incredible techniques for writing and critiquing fill every chapter.
Reading and re-reading Self-Editing made me aware of subtle characteristics that make writing great instead of good, and how to both identify and use those characteristics to elevate my writing to a higher level – a publishable level.
Probably the most useful thing I absorbed from Browne and King’s Self-Editing is something I use every time I write, revise, re-write or critique.
RESIST THE URGE TO EXPLAIN.
Assume that your reader is intelligent and can figure some things out for her/himself.
I have a long way to go as a writer. But Self-Editing has brought me a long way from my first attempts. I believe that putting into practice the fundamentals in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers has transformed much of my writing from ordinary to something special.
And that something special is what agents, editors and readers are looking for.