Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
By Renni Browne & Dave King
(HaperCollins Publishers, 288 pp)
If I had to recommend one book to writers, this might be it. I’ve underlined and dog-eared my copy nearly to death. This isn’t a book about punctuation or line-editing (although there are scattered tips about these things too). Its focus is broader: characterization, POV, dialogue, proportion, repitition. It has one of the clearest discussions of “Show v. Tell” I’ve ever read. The book’s lessons go beyond prescriptive editing advice to touch on craft, style, and sophistication.
The authors highlight their advice with examples and break up the narrative with light-hearted cartoons. At the end of each chapter they use checklists and exercises to reinforce the key points.
Numerous agents have recommended the book at conferences I’ve attended, including Sara Sciuto of Foreword Literary and Carly Watters of P.S. Literary.
A great group of HWG writers came out to discuss the book last Wednesday at Skinny Dugan’s. Join us next month on July 8th at 6:30 to talk about our next book: A Dash of Style by Noah Lukeman.