Fraulein Kussin and Mrs Edwards

I’m trying to make friends with the process of self editing — again.

Self editing and I get along well, as a rule. Our end goal is the same; we both want to produce a piece of work that is both engaging and grammatical.

On occasion, our relationship falls to the wayside. 

She hones in on technicalities, and I tend to preoccupy myself with the music of the words. Neither one of us wants to relent. 

Can’t we just meet in the middle?

Here’s the Story

After becoming completely enamoured with a quiet fishing villageDSC_0031 on the Avalon peninsula of Newfoundland, I sat down and started writing.  At the time, I didn’t know if I was writing a short story or a scene for a novel.  The ideas continued to flow, from St. John’s to Deer Lake, until I’d laid down over 5000 words.  I’ve since developed a novel storyline that incorporates this story as part of a three character narrative.  But I digress.

I read the short story version at an event and discovered that it resonated with the audience. People commented on the voice of the character and the rhythm of the prose. Now, nearly a year later, I’m preparing the writing for submission.  I worry that perfecting the grammar will adversely affect the voice and cadence of the piece.

Self Edit References

I’m reminded that the exercise of self editing extends beyond proofreading for spelling and grammar errors, and requires that writers attend to other details like formatting and word choice, to name a few. My constant companions are Elements of Style and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.

These online tips for self editing offer useful content:

http://www.writingforward.com/writing-tips/tips-for-self-editing 

http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/self-editing-tips-from-new-york-times-bestselling-author-gemma-halliday

http://www.annabowles.co.uk/tips_self-editing.html

It’s time for another editing session.  With a fresh cup of coffee and my two favourite references at my finger tips, I wheel my chair up to the desk. In the end, rules will meet intuition, and I’ll hope I’ve done the story justice.

 *Click the books to view content.

Strunk and White

Self editing for fiction writers

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