Rewriting, Editing, R.U.E. and the two-by-four

About a week ago, I reblogged (yecch … are we brutalizing the language or just being creative?) — I reblogged a list of books on writing from Carly Watters.  I noticed one I wasn’t familiar with, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Renni Browne and Dave King).  It promised to speak to the challenge just ahead for my second nself-editing-for-fiction-writers1ovel:  Rewrite.  I ordered the book.

I’m pretty familiar with Rewrite.  I’m on the seventh pass through my first novel.  I think I’m getting better at it — at least, I know that I’d do the first two or three rewrites of novel #1 differently.

If you’re reading this because you’re a writer, get this book.  It’s short, practical and is almost sure to give you insight on what makes writing work, regardless of your level of sophistication.

For me, the two-by-four upside the head is B&K’s margin note R.U.E. (“Resist the Urge to Elaborate”).  So I guess the discussion of Hans Prohoffer’s improbably success in sabre fencing inserted in the middle of a fight scene in which he uses a parry two (that goes, too) when Le Pic lunges is out.  I do like to elaborate.

Anyway, I consumed the book in a day.  Consumed is like a dog consumes a beefsteak.  Big bites, not chewing much.  But, like that dog and that steak, I loved the process.  Now, to read it carefully.  Then rewrite.

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