Chapter 25

Whipping Your Work into Shape

In This Chapter

arrow Editing your work effectively

arrow Deleting and reducing text

arrow Filling gaps with additional material

arrow Polishing your prose

When you’ve finished wrestling with the second, third or even fourth draft of your work (as I discuss in Chapter 24), you’ll have a reasonably coherent narrative to work with. Now you need to settle down and look at the finer aspects of your writing in more detail.

At this stage, you’re looking for ways to improve and streamline the story without making huge changes to the structure. You need to cut out anything that doesn’t contribute to your story; after all, less is often more. Perhaps even characters or scenes that you love but that clutter up your story and distract readers from what’s important have to go. And you may need to add extra information that readers need. You also want to search for ways to increase narrative tension and smooth out jarring changes of scene or transitions.

Looking with a Fresh Pair of Eyes

When you arrive at this editing stage, which is after you’ve got a coherent manuscript or ...

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