I know what you’re thinking. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a post from this Howlietzer guy. Where the heck has he been? Did I follow this schmuck for nothing? Well, I finally have another post, but let me tell you about my long absence.
Some of you might have guessed based on my fiction posts that I have a lot of novels in the works. Well, I finally sat down and finished one. It will be available soon, and I’ll keep you updated. I hope you love urban fantasy! Actually, for those of you that were reading my BMCR series, it’s that. The first instalment. Meet all your friends: Daryl Kearns, Henry Gaines, Nadia Baranski, and Olivia Poseidon, like you’ve never seen them before, printed in a traditionally published book with illustrations and, you know, the same things you can expect from the books these days.
You’re probably saying, well gee Howl, that’s great, but what does that have to do with REWRITING FOR THE BEST RESULTS? Well, I’m glad you asked. That’s what I’ve been spending my time on instead of here.
The importance of editing and rewriting your manuscript can not be stressed enough. You need to go over your work to make sure words are spelled right as well as if you are using the right word; make sure your sentences make sense, that they flow, and are not cumbersome; make sure you’re using the right format, many editors will trash your manuscript if you can’t follow the simple rules they layout for you before you submit.
It may seem arduous, but it’s really not that hard. Did it have me crying some days? Yes! But then what will make you cry more as a writer if 1. no one reads it and 2. it’s borning and no one understands what you’re trying to say.
When it comes to editing, you need to find someone who reads a lot and can offer criticism to your work. Another set of eyes is paramount to helping you succeed; they’ll help you find problems that you didn’t notice before.
After you’ve chosen this very special person to rip apart your work and totally break your spirit as a writer, you’ll need to pull yourself together and remember you asked them to do it. Then after a mental health day, look at their list of corrections and reread your manuscript. You need to comb over every paragraph and decide whether or not it makes sense as well as if there is enough there for a reader to grab hold of. Nothing is worse than a book that leaves the reader confused.
You do not need to take every criticism to heart. Some of the suggestions that will arise are simply because your reader did not understand. If they don’t understand, neither will a complete stranger who decided to pick up your book.
Therefore, it is my opinion that the author to be should strive to increase the clarity and succinctness in their final manuscript.
What is clarity? When looking to increase the clarity of your manuscript, you need to rely heavily on your chosen reader. The questions they have are more than likely going to be the same questions all readers have, so when going through their suggestions, really consider how each paragraph sounds.
There are some exceptions. Your Audience is a big factor in how clear you are. One problem my beginning manuscript had was the use of the word phasing to mean passing through objects. My chosen reader did not understand that use of the word, but I know that my audience would.
As many of you know I like Fantasy and Urban fantasy type of books. The construction of the worlds, the limits of magic, the superpowers of individuals, many of these can elicit further clarity. So what a writer will have to do is scrutinize their word choices as well as ask the question, “Am I conveying what I want to convey here?” You may want to ask several readers to look at your work; the more the merrier, and more importantly you may want to ask a member of your audience to give it a read so that you know for sure if they understood.
Succinctness is then applied to your novel, specifically making it as clear as you can with as little words as possible. And it most cases little words. Using larger words is fine is some cases; if your audience is mostly adults you’ll be able to get away with it more. But in some cases, it can be overdone. It’s best, in this writer’s opinion, to use more conversational words, however, I consider myself more of the everyman. More avid readers like big words. So take this bit as you do your corrections from your chosen readers: they are important to look at, but not always necessary to fix your work.
I hope that was helpful. And please go ahead and leave a like, consider subscribing, and below tell me your thoughts on the rewriting process. I’d love to read your comments on the subject and hopefully, we can help each other out.