After hours (months? years?) of painstaking work, you’ve finally gotten to the last page of your manuscript and feel ready to show the world. Congratulations! You’ve made it further than a lot of other writers. Are you ready to self-publish or send it off to an agent? Not quite. There are still quite a few revisions needed for your book. Here are some tips to help you learn how to edit your book.
So, you want to write a book. It’s one that you’ve been considering for a long time. Every time I’ve mentioned what I do for a living, I always have people say that they have wanted to write but just were not sure how to get started. Let's get started.
Let’s look at how structure frames the plot (in a good way). The plot is the sequence of events in a story that answers the dramatic question. The structure, or narrative structure, is what keeps the events in good order. Structuring your plot correctly is key to a story that reader's want to continue.
When writing your novel. It’s important to get an idea of what type of genre, or category, you will be writing for. Here is a list of some of the most popular form of genres. It’s not all inclusive but should give you an idea of what type of books are out there.
“What’s your story about?” As a writer, you have probably been asked that questions many times. Often, writers fall into the trap of stating something like, “science fiction,” or “it’s a mystery novel.” However, they are simply giving the genre and not the theme. What is a theme? A theme simply answers what the story is about.
Have you ever read a story where you had a hard time figuring out what was going on? Not in an Inception type of way, but more like you can’t figure out what the story is trying to accomplish. What is happening? A well-defined plot describes the main part of the story in which everything revolves. Knowing and answering the big dramatic question centers around the protagonist’s central conflict and keeps the reader interested in your story.
When writing your novel, it’s important to get to know all your characters, even the bad ones. Developing your character profiles and investing the time to understand them more intimately. Doing so will enable you to write with more authenticity. Flesh them out and imagine how they would act in the real world.
Contemplate reading the latest murder mystery on the market. Imagine your emotional response to the story presented from the point of view (POV) of the husband who first stumbled upon the scene of the crime. What about a story from the victim’s perspective as they you (the reader) tell their story? Would your reaction be any different if the narrator was an omnipresent narrator with no direct ties to the characters? The point of view, or voice that tells your story, directly impacts your emotional connection to your story.
Fiction can exist without dialogue, but it’s often the interaction between characters that brings readers into the story. Dialogue helps to move the story along. It also gives your characters a voice and life of their own. So, what exactly is it? Simply put, the dialogue is a conversation between two or more people put down in written form. It’s an exchange of information or ideas. It’s what the character’s say and is most commonly the text between quotation marks.
When writing blogs, articles, and novels, understanding the active and passive voice is important. Most style guides, such as the APA Manual of Style or AMA prefer that author’s use the active voice in general. But what does active voice mean? Is it required to always use active voice? Not necessarily. Let’s discuss what the different styles are what when it is appropriate to use one or the other.