Monday, October 12, 2015

Editing and Polishing: Time to Add Some Ellipses!


Back in July, I tackled the topic of how I do my first revision in a brilliant and witty piece entitled Cooling Periods and Paper. Sorry if my description raised your expectations higher than the piece actually warrants, but there are no refunds.

Editing and Polishing is the topic of the month, and I will say that past that first difficult revision, I rather enjoy editing. It's my chance to nitpick and shine up each sentence, add in some extra ellipses just for drama ...

I'm kidding, guys. Don't add extra ellipses. But they are fun ... and dramatic ...

It is the time when I look at aesthetics, though. I see if there are unwieldy blocks of exposition or pages of dialogue without time for a reader to catch his breath. I might tag a sentence for solitary confinement.

Because I can.

I'll check for overusing my poetic license, adverbs, and starting sentences with conjunctions. Because ... kryptonite.

And, honestly, by this time, I'm also editing and polishing my query letter. I've done my due diligence, had several pairs of eyes look the manuscript over and give me a green light. Mostly, I'm just a little bit sick of looking at it myself. I know every crossed t and dotted i in the whole darn thing.

So this is when I start emailing my query to my friends to see if anyone bites. If they respond sounding more confused than excited, then I know I need to go back to the drawing board.

How do you polish? Is it something you mainly outsource or something you handle personally?


  1. Useful editing tips. But why do you look for sentences starting with conjunctions? And what do you do when you find them?

  2. LOL, Eric! When I find them close together, I force myself to thin them like beets. Nobody wants tiny, malnourished beets. Or too many conjunction-starting sentences in the same paragraph ...


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