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 novel: 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.