Friday, November 21, 2014

New Tricks

Welcome to Friday!

I often find tips shared by writers to be invaluable. This week, as I have been working to add the sparkle to my completed rough draft of Sweetest Temptation, I thought I'd share some of my tips with you.

Writing is a life-long learning curve. There is always something or someone to learn from. However, your words are your words and it's important to keep the voice in the story that is you. That means that one writers process does not fit all and may not suit your goals. Writers need a virtual toolbox to store away all of the good advice and learning experiences, and a rubbish bag to throw away all of the bad. For instance, I no longer attempt complicated plans. I have learned through trial and error that I am a fully fledged pantser and all of the time I had spent planning is completely useless when I veer off on a tangent.

So here are the things that have been working for me in the edit process...

Font - This was something I discovered after I'd published my first two books. During your read through change your font. Reading your manuscript through on a different font can highlight a multitude of sins. As they say, familiarity breeds contempt, or should this be complacency? Writing your book in your preferred, or required font, is like a trusted friend. You've written and read over the same section so many times it's ingrained on your brain and any errors tend to camouflage - until you change your font.

Order - I don't know about you, but I can remember moments in the past far easier than remembering something I've done this week. Your manuscript is the same. I work more on my first few chapters than any others and therefore have read them through more times than the later ones. I read through all of my chapters before I continue with the next and so, as above, I get to know those words off by heart. So I now edit from the end to the beginning, working backwards so I'm reading each sentence individually without the obvious flow. It's like reading with fresh eyes.

Now this is a new one for me...

Reading out loud - This week I decided to try reading out loud. Well, not really loud it's more of a whisper. And I have to say I kind of like it. I'm starting to pick out what sounds natural and unnatural, and if the pace needs adjusting. That said, it's one of those things best done at home ;-)

I hope some of my tips help. If you have some of your own I'd love to hear them!
Have a wonderful weekend
~ Tracey


  1. certain music will help me get into the mood for certain scenes like fighting, angry, sad etc

    just because a scene can't be used in a book your writing does not mean it cant be aside until it can be later used in a story better suited to it

    1. Good tip Jessica! I might start a 'cut' file :-)

  2. I've always done the 'read-aloud' and also noticed that I work on the front end more than the back of a manuscript. Changing the font is a new idea for me. I can't listen to music like Jessica can. It's too distracting because I find I want to listen to the lyrics!

    1. I'm the same with music Carole. It gets me in the mood, but then I get distracted by the lyrics and start to sway along :-)