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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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Chapter 26

Flying Low

Polishing Scenes and Sentences

“I cut adjectives, adverbs, and every word which is there just to make an effect. Every sentence which is there just for the sentence.”

—Georges Simenon

You’ve made the big changes your manuscript needs. You’ve written a killer story with twists and turns tuned to perfection. Your protagonist’s journey is carefully wrought and fraught. The secrets and surprises are strategically placed. Your characters are as entertaining and interesting as you can make them. Now you’re ready to fly low and examine every scene, every paragraph, every sentence, polishing that manuscript to within an inch of its life.

Some final polishing can be done directly in the electronic file. But there’s no substitute ...

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