What are a couple of things that have improved your writing

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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OldDarth
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: What are a couple of things that have improved your writ

Postby OldDarth » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:50 am

LaurieG wrote: I also like the book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. This one gets into the little details.


wotf018

Totally forgot to mention that one! Thanks for posting about it Laurie! Yes it's an excellent resource as it provides a great checklist for second drafts and polishing. It also ties in to Shawn Coyne's - The Story Grid - in which he states today's writers also have to become their own editors in order to make their work stand out from the rest.

I also use a couple of web site tools:

1) 43 Words to Cut from your writing
2) Edit Minion
3) Pro Writing Aid

I use them these judiciously because I've run other writers works through them and they get flagged with a lot of errors but the tools are useful for catching over used or useless words.
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V32Q3 - SHM, V33Q2 - R
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disgruntledpeony
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Re: What are a couple of things that have improved your writ

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:55 pm

I recently realized exactly how much exchanging manuscripts with other writers has improved my own writing process over the last year. I haven't been able to be as consistent with writing or critiquing lately as I'd like, but I started poking at a tentative first draft for V34 Q1 the other day simply because I needed to know if it would be worth following through on. What I discovered is that my internal editor is not only picking up on things I've noticed when critiquing other peoples' writing, but also common problems others have pointed out about my own writing as well. That doesn't necessarily keep me from the initial mistakes every time, but it does mean that I'm far more likely to notice them in time to fix them on the next draft if they slip in.

So, yes. In short, constructive criticism is wonderful. wotf010
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
2015, Q4: R
2016: SF, n/a, SHM, SHM
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Mike Resnick
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Re: What are a couple of things that have improved your writ

Postby Mike Resnick » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 pm

It sounds simplistic, but when I finish a story or a chapter I read it aloud, even in an empty room. And I find that some sentences that are grammatically correct and got by me when I proofread can be awkward or even a bit confusing...and you NEVER want you reader to stop -- not to think, or eat, or even go to the bathroom -- because he might never come back to the page. I can't help it if he is sleepy or hungry or horny, but I can damned well see to it that he's never confused.
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MattDovey
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Re: What are a couple of things that have improved your writ

Postby MattDovey » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:29 am

Mike's advice is excellent (of course) and essential. I've recently added another step as well; I save my Word document out as a PDF, then in Adobe Reader go to View > Read Out Loud > Activate Read Out Loud. I can then click on a paragraph to have it read out to me in creepy robot voice, which--thanks to its odd intonation and, more importantly, beause it's not me reading it and skipping over parts I think I know--will often flag up repeated words and odd phrasings.
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