If writing was easy, everyone would do it and do it well.
As I’ve mentioned, a draft is NOT, and NEVER will be ready for anyone other than the author to see…I wouldn’t even venture a friend…but certainly not an editor, and not a reader. So how do you take that draft and get it to a level where an editor at a publishing company might accept it for publication or a hired editor might assist you in turning it into something a reader will just eat up?
Revisions. Revisions. And more revisions.
When you start revising your manuscript, you’ll begin fleshing out characters – making them three-dimensional, and more alive – developing action as well as setting, and emotion. It’s about stepping into your characters’ shoes and living the story with them. It’s about building the life and depth of the story line through layers of words like a bricklayer builds a wall.
- An example, let’s say your draft gives you:
- John strode to the door, opened it, and walked out on the street.
That sentence is fine. It’s grammatically correct…it shows the action, but what does it really present to the reader? It says he opened the door and went out to the street. Simple and to the point, but that’s a draft.
- Angry, John stalked to the door, opened it, and walked out onto the street.
Now we know he was angry, by both stating it and making it evident in the way he walked to the door.
- Angry and feeling as though if he didn’t leave immediately, he was going to hit someone, John stalked to the door, threw it open, and despite the pouring rain, marched into the street.
Now we know just how angry he was as well as creating atmosphere because now we know it was raining outside but it’s not very smooth so let’s take a step further.
- Angry, and feeling as if he didn’t leave right away he was going to hit someone, John stalked to the door, threw it open so wide driving rain sprayed him and the foyer floor. He marched into street without looking back. He knew he’d never return.
By layering emotion, setting, action, and expanding that simple line, you can create a scene and that’s what we, as editors and readers, want to see in a story. Through revisions, you can layer into it so much more without writing eons of words.
If you’re struggling with revisions, not understanding what needs expanding or what needs cutting, come back next time and I’ll start breaking things down with you. Remember…when you think you’re really ready to show it to the world, having a professional editor like me look at it can only make it shine brighter.
Let’s find success for you – together.
Happy Writing Everyone!