Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thursday Reviews, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
by Renni Browne and Dave King

This book was one of the first I bought when I got serious about my writing, and when I wore it out, I bought the second edition. It was a hard craft book to read because I was still at the honeymoon stage of my writing career. What do I mean by honeymoon? I was madly and passionately with everything I wrote—in my eyes, I was brilliant. The only thing keeping me from publication was the fact that no one had read my work yet. In some ways, the honeymoon stage of any writer’s career is magical. But for the dream of becoming a published writer to turn to reality I had to learn and grow.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a book that facilitates that growth. It covers the basics, showing vs. telling, POV, characterization, they’re all there. My copy is dog-eared and highlighted. I make it a habit to read it through at least once every two years.

At the end of each chapter are exercises so you can practice what you’ve earned. In addition, all chapters except the last, contains a checklist to use on your own manuscript. I use them every time I write something. At times, it seems tedious, but the polished prose that comes from the effort makes it worthwhile.

I know this book was written specifically for fiction writers, but I use a lot of these techniques every time I write an article. Good writing works, no matter the situation. And good writers work at being better. This book will make you better.


  1. I love this book, too!

    A great partner is the AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It helps find a lot of the issues that Browne & King mention.

  2. Thanks Janine. That's a great suggestions!