Creative Writing Revision is an art in its own right. I am right in the middle of this process, and it has been an uphill battle to say the least (if you want to know how I really feel about it, read here). However, I believe that there are some very good resources to arm ourselves with before jumping in with the red pen. These are the books I am currently using, please recommend any others that you have (follow links for reviews)!
- Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness – Kirt Hickman: A systematic approach to revision, covering – Theme, Fictional Worlds, Characters, Plot, Point of View, Setting, First Draft, Research, Organization, Chapter Breaks, Scenes, Emotions, Prose, Dialogue, Formatting, and Critiques. Any out there find anything better?
- How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them–A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide – Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman: Now Not to Write a Novel is not for the faint of heart. It is straight forward, and the bluntness can be rather harsh. But at the end of the day, it is a useful tool if you are serious about getting your manuscript published.
- Solutions for Novelists: Secrets of a Master Editor – Sol Stein: Don’t be fooled by the old school cover design, Sol Stein is awesome and so is his advice. From the perspective an editor, he is candid in reminding writers of their responsibilities towards their audience, and his solutions to common writing errors are brilliant. His tone is heartfelt; he truly wants to improve the quality of your work. Buy and read this book, trust me!
- On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King: This may be a surprise as the book is more of a memoir than a technical approach to writing. I found King’s description of his revision process enlightening – he makes it sound manageable, which makes reading it worth your time and certainly justify’s the space on your writer’s shelf.
Have you used The Writer’s Digest’s Master Box Collection as a resource? If so, I would love to get your thoughts on it! It is expensive, but worth it? The reviews on B&N.com are not exactly stellar, and I’m generally not a fan of The Writer’s Digest dry style (not to mention the price, which just seems ridiculous). Anyone a fan?