Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print - Renni Browne, Dave    King Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, is an excellent guide, and one I recommend checking out. I think the title may be unintentionally limiting, as this is not just a guide on self-editing, but a valuable resource for avoiding many common writing mistakes in the first place.

The guide teaches techniques that transform promising manuscripts into published works by taking the reader through the same processes an editor goes through. The book targets common mistakes and explains how to edit what you've written. The points are illustrated with an abundance of 'before' and 'after' example excerpts drawn from works of famous writers and/or books Browne and King have edited.

The two minor criticisms I have are that the authors could be less self-referential and the example passages could be shorter and more to the point, while still being effective. Not everything presented in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers will be new to you, but you may find fresh insight as to why certain issues are deemed problematic and the reasons behind why it's best to avoid them.

If using a selection from The Great Gatsby as an example of showing how certain passages can be improved is a turn-off, beware, for this happens. However, if you can approach this book with an open mind and focus on the words (and not the legendary baggage that comes with them), it can be a valid and rewarding learning experience as well as a handy reference guide.