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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => The Craft of Writing => Topic started by: SarahW on March 15, 2014, 09:26 PM

Title: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: SarahW on March 15, 2014, 09:26 PM
Do you guys ever have a list of writing techniques you found you like, to sort out stuff that you may have missed in the first draft? I've found that having a list of technique I like and agree with, and sometimes even ones I don't agree with can speed up the process.

I'm not sure if I would have gotten to draft three, without it.

Like when I read older work, and some newer work -- I've found juxtaposing an action after a dialogue tag, is different say from doing a Tom Swiftly. And there are some actions, that can't be properly shown through dialogue alone. Though I could be off base.

For example: "Mom, I'm home from practice." she said, as she walked through the door into the living room. Which would be different then saying "I home from practice," she bounced her soccer ball. "what's for dinner?"

Though I've found myself making the latter mistake? occasionally myself.

I'm noticing the latter format in a classic book I'm currently reading.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: Marcia on March 16, 2014, 04:12 AM
Techniques to keep in mind are good, so long as you vary them. You wouldn't want every line to have action in the middle, or vice versa. I've only done this once, but another trick is to highlight all the dialogue in different colors. For example, all of your main character's words could be highlighted blue. It's an easy way to check if the different voices are true all the way through. I also look for too many 'but's, adverbs, that sort of thing.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: mirrorsandmagicfrogs on March 16, 2014, 08:56 AM
I do a search for words I tend to overuse (like down, up, just, was, etc.)
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: Jamie K on March 17, 2014, 06:08 AM
I'd also recommend a search for sensory words, (saw, heard, felt, looked, thought etc) If you can eliminate those it makes everything stronger.  It's the difference between

He heard the car backfire.

The car backfired.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: dewsanddamps on March 17, 2014, 06:45 AM
I always need to check that all characters are present in every scene for which they're present, and that they react enough to news/events/revelations.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: Jean Reidy on March 17, 2014, 06:59 AM
Great thread. I just started a list of "search words" - hah, and I just used "just." To Jamie's sensory words I'm adding a search for cliched reactions or shows of emotion - so I'm searching for eyes, smile, grin, nod, glance - which I tend to overuse.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: Jean Reidy on March 17, 2014, 07:36 AM
Quick question about word searches and highlighting.

I use  Word and I'd love to save a copy of my manuscript, with my searched words highlighted, from revision session to revision session. But when I use the "highlight" feature in "find," save the manuscript, then close it, the highlights aren't there when I open it again. Is there anyway to save it with the highlighted words in place?
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on March 17, 2014, 08:17 AM
I read backwards, one paragraph at a time. This checks for flow, transitions, dialog tags and spelling and grammar.

I also read out loud to make sure the voices are distinct and changes are clear.

I search for telegraphing - sentences that tell what the next sentence shows.

I cut adverbs and the other words mentioned in the thread and look for places to add sensory detail especially scents and tastes. I also substitute stronger verbs for weaker ones - why walk when you can sachet, trudge or march along?
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: sydney-oneill on March 17, 2014, 08:26 AM
Sarah, Stacy Ennis offers some downloads that you might find helpful.
http://bit.ly/1fCUis8
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: HDWestlund on March 17, 2014, 09:54 AM
In addition to some of the strategies already mentioned, I have used "Self Editing for Fiction Writers" to guide my revisions.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: June Smalls on March 17, 2014, 10:43 AM
I like to make sure that all my character senses are used.  Not every sence in every scene but we notice smells, tastes, feelings, sounds, and sights regularly. So should our characters.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: Jamie K on March 17, 2014, 10:54 AM
Quick question about word searches and highlighting.

I use  Word and I'd love to save a copy of my manuscript, with my searched words highlighted, from revision session to revision session. But when I use the "highlight" feature in "find," save the manuscript, then close it, the highlights aren't there when I open it again. Is there anyway to save it with the highlighted words in place?

I do a replace. So in the first box you put the word

Then in the second box where it says replace with, you type in the word again. Below the box where you type is a dropdown and you can select highlighting. Then it replaces all instances of the word with a highlighted version of the word. Then you can save and when you reopen the highlights are still there.
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: dewsanddamps on March 17, 2014, 11:06 AM
That's helpful, Jamie K. Thank you!
Title: Re: I guess this is a revision question,
Post by: olmue on March 17, 2014, 11:07 AM
I'm totally guilty of telegraphing (didn't know there was a word for it, but I sure know what it is!). I also have to go back in and add feeeeeeeelings. And sensory stuff. And usually take in the POV closer, too. I think after enough feedback, you start to know what you have to edit for on subsequent passes (ie individual writer weaknesses). But it helps sometimes to have a list of things to watch for.