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Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel Revised and Expanded Edition, 2nd Edition by Sara Paretsky, Hallie Ephron

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Part III

Revising

“What’s nice about writing is that nothing’s set in stone till it’s finished. It’s only then that you hang yourself out to dry.”

—Evan Hunter (a.k.a. Ed McBain)

When I type THE END on a first draft, I celebrate. Ta-dah! Strike up the band! Break open the champagne! The hardest part (for me) is over, and the fun is about to begin.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for revision. But whether you love it, loathe it, or fall somewhere between those two extremes, there’s one thing we can all agree on: No one writes a publishable first draft. Plot and characterization are bound to need fixing; word choice, spelling, and grammar will surely need to be tweaked.

So when you’ve finished the manuscript, take a moment to pat yourself on ...

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