This weekend, as I near the complementation of the rough draft of my latest novel, I must have had editing on my mind. I was planning on doing a post about where to begin polishing a rough draft. That is when serendipity stepped in and I came across this informative post on Anne R Allen’s blog.
I especially liked the very first tip. There is a reason your keyboard has a delete key, you need to get comfortable using it. I know this goes against every fiber of your writer’s mind. You have spent hours, no days, no months on the pages before you. You toiled away until you hit your word limit. These aren’t just random words they are eminations from your soul. I have been there. I have had to see whole chapters succumb to the ravages of the delete key. In truth most times I save the really big stuff for when I need a little something to jump start a chapter or story. Nothing ever really needs to go to waste.
The other tip has to do with character names. I have seen some very boring names in books. You do not want a cartoon character but you need a name that sticks with the reader. Conversely you do not want a name that is so complicated your reader has trouble with it. I’ve see this in a lot of science fiction writing and I am guilty of a tongue twister our two. In my book, Undead Heart, the main vampire’s name is Tzagne Vlastav. I had to provide a pronunciation hint in the first chapter, it is zahnee, still I have heard from readers that the name sometimes takes them out of the story. In addition you should know that names do not have to be set until printing. It may take a little more work to double check so you don’t leave any of those old names floating around. Just use the word find function and you will be okay.
So I urge you to follow the link to Anne’s blog for her tips on how you can take your rough draft from suckitude to greatness.