richard harland's writing tips

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Good Writing Habits
 

Other Good Writing Habits Topics

 

1. Preparation

2.Writing Through


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3. Feedback & Revision

 

(ix) AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

 

When I revise, there are always some areas for improvement, even if no one has identified a problem. Going through the novel from first page to last, I take these improvements in along the way.

For a start—there’s the start. The original version was a stab in the dark. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I know where everything’s going, I can see exactly what needs setting up when. The opening fifty pages of a novel are crucial, and most writers I know expect to re-work and improve them.

Then there are the passages of action. I see ways of making the sequence of movements cleaner and stronger, so that the reader can really see them. Of revisions that I do off my own bat, I probably revise action more than anything else.

With passages of description, as when describing a setting, my revision is mostly trimming. I’ve almost always used too many words and thrown in too many details. Working over it again, I pare description back to the essentials.

As for dialogue, well, it’s either right or it isn’t. No use fiddling about with small improvements. If I need to revise dialogue, I set the old passage aside and write through in a flow, as if for the first time. I’m not a fast writer generally, but dialogue has to be written fast and continuously.

Action, setting and dialogue are three of the four Elements in the next section.

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OTHER FEEDBACK & REVISION TOPICS

 

(i) YOUR READERS ARE YOUR NOVEL

(ii) FEEDBACK FROM ORDINARY READERS

(iii) FEEDBACK FROM OTHER WRITERS

(iv) FEEDBACK FROM EDITORS

(v) RE-PRIORITISING

(vi) TAKE CHANGES ON BOARD

(vii) REVISION THAT ESCALATES

(viii) KILLING YOUR DARLINGS

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Copyright note: all material on this website is (c) Richard Harland, 2009-10
 
 
Copyright note: all written material on this website is copyright
1997 - 2010 Richard Harland.