This week's Things I Learned Along the Way Thursdays is about self-editing. Remember that old summer camp song where you took whatever was obnoxious and put it at the front three times and then the rest went like this:
A horrible way to die,
a horrible way to die,
<insert obnoxious thing here x2>
We'd sing it whenever they wanted to do announcements or we'd throw some goofball Webelo's name in there (Kids can be so cruel!)
That is how I feel about editing and revising. Sure it's important, but it also can be gut-wrenching. Who wanted to wake up this morning, go to the mirror, and find all their zits on their face and other fun imperfections? It's a lot like that. A horrible way to die.
But edit we must. Because what if we left the house like that? As a new writer I wanted a resource that would let me know what to look for and also give a lot of examples. Me likey examples (especially with pictures (SPOILER ALERT!!11! not very many pictures in the book I'm about to recommend.)) Here is my field-manual of self-editing awesomeness:
Most of the writing I've done is for kids, so some of this does not apply, some goes over my head. But for a comprehensive how-to on writing craft this is a must. I'm still working my way through it and some of the chapters I will have to read several times, but I learn something new each time I pick it up. It's like going to the mirror and saying to yourself, "How did I miss that one?" he inquired.