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Polish Your Fiction: A Quick & Easy Self-Editing Guide (Writing in a Nutshell Book 2) Kindle Edition
In Polish Your Fiction: A Quick & Easy Self-Editing Guide, writer, editor, and publisher, Jessica Bell, offers her tried and tested advice on the quickest and easiest ways to polish different areas of writing style, consistency of prose, grammar, punctuation, typography, and layout. Each section is armed with a numbered checklist for moments when writers need that “at-a-glance” reminder and nifty Microsoft Word tricks that will save time. At the end of the book there are also magnificent accounts of editorial mistakes other authors have made during their careers, to show that no matter how many times a book is edited, something always slips through, and to therefore not be so hard on oneself.
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says a writer needs to focus on short assignments to avoid feeling overwhelmed. She refers to the one-inch picture frame on her desk and how it reminds her to focus on bite-sized pieces of the whole story. If you focus on one small thing at a time, the story will eventually come together to create a whole. The same applies to editing a manuscript. If writers focus on one aspect of the editorial process at a time, the task will seem less daunting, and piece by piece, it will come together to form a piece of very polished work.
Not only is Polish Your Fiction: A Quick & Easy Self-Editing Guide an excellent addition to any self-publishing course, but it’s also a great primary learning tool for aspiring authorpreneurs, and a great booster for more experienced authorpreneurs to get their manuscripts in excellent shape before sending their work to a professional editor.
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"Reading this insightful, easy-to-use toolkit is like being on the receiving end of face-to-face tuition from one of today's leading indie authors. Most authors have to learn the tricks of the trade by trial and error. Jessica Bell is giving away all our secrets!" Jane Davis, award-winning author
"Bang-useful checklist with lots of tricks and tweaks to make your book the very best it can be." Hart Johnson, author of A Shot in the Light
"I love the structure of this book. It's quick and to-the-point examples are genius and so easy to follow, very user-friendly. Throughout her examples, Bell challenges the writer to see these flaws in his/her writing, but not to panic. She points out they are easy pitfalls for any writer. Even the most seasoned of writers must be reminded from time to time about certain aspects of their writing: i.e., thus the need for editors. This is a MUST HAVE for any writer's craft arsenal. It would also be a fabulous gift for any high school or college student." Sheri Larsen, children's literature author
"I found that working through the guide helped me pinpoint the areas in my own novel that lacked vivid setting and description. It's so hard to edit your own work, but Jessica Bell's guides have been invaluable for teaching me the fine art of self-editing and revision. I highly recommend this guide as a standalone, but I believe the guides work best in conjunction with one another. They also make great gifts for writers, especially those in your critique group!" Angela Mackintosh, Founder/CEO at WOW! Women On Writing
"In each Nutshell guide, Jessica Bell provides a focused and effective master class on a single aspect of the writer's craft. To read each book feels like taking a personal tutorial, with expert advice couched in friendly, supportive terms and reinforced by carefully planned exercises. A highly recommended source of practical help to refine any author's writing skills." Debbie Young, author of Sell Your Books and editor of The Alliance of Independent Authors Self-Publishing Advice Blog--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00KN1HTKA
- Publisher : Vine Leaves Press; 2 edition (28 May 2014)
- Language : English
- File size : 494 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 87 pages
- Customer Reviews:
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The biggest surprise for me was her advice to pick off one aspect of your writing at a time, e.g. dialogue tags ("He said", "She murmured" etc) or chapter endings, and perfect them. This means going through your work multiple times to effect a single edit - but it sounds like a very effective approach.
It's also a great book for the 21st century writer, because it harnesses tricks from Word to help you fine-tune your prose, e.g. search and replace, rather than relying on your own eye.
As a career editor, she's not afraid to debunk commonly held myths about writing, e.g. the old saying "murder your darlings". With her characteristic incisive Australian wit, she advises "If everyone killed all their darlings, they'd have no family left".
The format is a really practical working guide, full of checklists to help you put into practice the author's top tips. Having bought the Kindle edition of this book, I'm now going to order the paperback, because it's going to have a permanent place on my writing desk whenever I'm at the editing stage. Enough said.
Disclosure: I do know the author personally as we both belong to the Alliance of Independent Authors (I'm quoted in the back, in the heartening section in which authors confess their biggest editing errors), but I bought my copy direct from Amazon and Jessica Bell didn't solicit this review, nor does she know I'm writing it!
This guide will help you see your fiction writing in a new light and may prevent you incurring the wrath of your editor! Remember, this book isn't intended to start you out on your writing journey. Only purchase this once you're happy with your manuscript as a whole and are ready for finishing touches.
If, like me, you are mostly a non-fiction writer, this book is also for you since the second section, covering style, applies equally to all writing. The final section, including quotes from a number of experienced writers will also make you feel a lot more confident about your abilities.
Written in Jessica's usual down-to-earth style, this book is well worth the cover price and a great addition to any writing craft library.