Book Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Second Edition)

180467Title: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

Author(s): Renni Browne, David King

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Release Date: April 13, 2004

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Do you write? Do you even have the faintest aspirations of writing? Then read this book. It’s an absolute goldmine of information. I found the first half to be the most useful, though the second half is valuable as well.

This book covers everything from internal monologue to pace, and everything in between, packed with examples and exercises.

I have two minor nitpicks, however. The authors use a staggering amount of examples later on in the book, many of which I feel weren’t necessary. Did they illustrate points? Sure, but they were already well explained on their own.

Secondly, there’s one part of the book, (in the chapter Sophistication), that could’ve been elaborated on. The authors tell us to avoid using the dependent -ing and as structures, (E: Pulling off her gloves, she entered the room), as according to them, “hacks” back in the day were notorious for their usage. Even so, I don’t feel that condemns these structures to eternal hack-ness. Is there some bigger, better reason to avoid them?

Still, as with most of the awesome information in this book, I’d rather just nod my head and keep an eye out for it. They’re the editors, after all, and they’re very aware of the invisible tricks that make a good manuscript tick.

There is no possible way reading this book won’t benefit you. A strong 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Writers! What Do You Do with Your Rejection Slips?

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s On Writing, and in the book he talks about how he drove a nail into his wall and impaled through it every rejection slip he ever got. (Eventually he had to replace the nail with a spike. I don’t even want to think about the hole in the wall that left!)

My rejection slips are simply in a drawer right now, but I’m considering doing the above.

What about you? What do you do with your rejection slips and letters? Burn them in a ritualistic attempt to appease the publishing gods? Stuff them in a drawer? I’m curious. :)