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  • Polishing Tips

    Posted by Jo Price on 22 September 2023 at 19:03

    Does anyone have any tips on polishing?

    Setting the scene: You’ve finished your novel. You’ve checked for plot, character, you’ve done a line edit and even a proof read looking for typos, but then what’s next? What bits of polish can you do to your novel before you are really finished?

    My collection of tips so far:

    🚩Check for repeated words ‘the the’ ‘and and’ etc using the find and replace.

    🚩check for double spaces and triple spaces. (Again abusing the find and replace function.)

    🚩 Check that each chapter opens as late as it possible can, and finishes as early as it possibly can. – It’s no problem not walking all the characters home at the end of the party.

    🚩 Check each characters’ dialogue is in keeping with their personality.

    🚩 Read out loud and see if your eyes glaze over – these are potentially tension drops and need attention.

    Has anyone got any other polishes that they can recommend?

    Hailey Willis replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Laurence

    Member
    25 September 2023 at 13:22

    <div>Things I keep finding when editing my work:
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    • Unnecessary dialogue modifiers – if the dialogue is good enough, we can already infer that they said it flatly or sternly or excitedly without the adverb.
    • A search for common filler words and reduncancies. Everyone probably has their own ones. For me I over use “just” in places where it contributes nothing to the sentence.
    • Balancing the amount of non-verbal communication. A common weakness is underdescribing, never mentioning characters looking at each other or making facial expressions or having any body language, but too much can be just as bad. People don’t raise an eyebrow every five minutes. My characters always pause and hesitate and shrug too much

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  • Hailey Willis

    Member
    14 October 2023 at 03:49

    Some things I picked up from Kathryn Lindskoog’s book, “Creative Writing for People Who Can’t Not Write”:

    ~ Check each sentence for clarification. Make sure the reader will not misunderstand you. As C.S. Lewis said, “Simplify, simplify!”

    ~ Rewrite stiff, modifier-filled sentences. Use strong verbs that carry the meaning so well, you won’t have to use many adjectives or adverbs.

    ~ Less is always more. Even if you’re in love with a particular sentence, if it takes forever to get around to the point, shorten it. Use stronger language to make a bigger impact in those short sentences!