3 Ways Not to Emphasis Character Dialogue

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Many writers include things in their book that they think will make their book better. They think if they just include that one thing, their message will be clearer to their readers. But sometimes, it's those very things that frustrate editors and turn away readers.

When I read a book, that may be my only chance that day to relax. I grab my cup of coffee, and I sit down, prepared to take a break from my to-do list and live another life vicariously through these characters.

Until someone interrupts my solitude with an "emergency..."

Our readers don't like those interruptions either, but sometimes, they can come from within our books. Here are three things that will interrupt your readers' experience with your book (and should be edited out):

1. All Caps

While we have all experienced the urge to make absolutely certain that our readers understand just how loud our character is, we should never use all caps when someone is yelling. Just like we don't like people yelling at us, readers don't like when books "yell" at them.

A normal sentence that ends with an exclamation point and the dialogue tag "he yelled" is all the reader needs. And if you want to add a little extra emphasis, italicise the sentence.

2. Multiple Exclamation Points

Sometimes, people get excited, and our characters are no exception. And sometimes, we may include two or three--or even four--exclamation points to show just how excited they are. But this, like using all caps, could come across as yelling to the reader or, at the very least, disruptive.

One exclamation point should be enough to get your point across, whether your character is excited, mad, or scared. If, however, your sentence or dialogue is still missing the punch you need, try using stronger words like action verbs.

3. Excessive Italics

While italicising is a great tool, there is such a thing as too many italics. If you use it often or for whole sentences or paragraphs, your readers will become numb to it, and it will no longer serve your book as it was intended: for emphasis.

Use italics sparingly for single words or the occasional sentence, such as when showing what a character is thinking. If you have larger sections that need emphasis, try using the conflict in your plot, the characters' actions and reactions, or powerful or emotional words instead.

Application

Read through your manuscript and search for these three things. If you find any of them, edit them using the tips suggested here so that your writing will be stronger and your readers will have a better reading experience.

How do you like to emphasize dialogue in your writing? What techniques do you use to avoid these mistakes? Let us know in the comments!

How to Accomplish Your Editing Goals in 2018

How to Accomplish Your Editing Goals in 2018

It’s that time again when authors start thinking about their writing goals for 2018. New Year’s resolutions are a common topic of conversation, and it’s important to have dreams and desires for a new year. Maybe it’s the fresh start that you need in your writing life.

And perhaps you’ve just won NaNoWriMo or completed your draft at some point this year, but you’re putting off that monster of a task that you know must come next: revision. But a fresh new year is the perfect time for you to dream big and finally tackle that draft and turn it into a polished novel.

Maybe you’ve already set your New Year’s resolution to finally edit your draft. But did you know that only about 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions? That means there are 92% of people who do not keep their resolutions. What makes your resolution any different? How can you keep yourself from being one of the 92%?

1. Define Your Purpose

A big reason why most people don’t stick with their New Year’s resolutions is because they don’t have a specific purpose. It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to edit my book next year.” If that’s all you go into the New Year with, you probably won’t make it past the fourth month.

You have to start with a purpose. If you don’t already know what your purpose for your book is, grab a piece of paper or open a blank document on your computer and answer these questions to help you discover your purpose:

  • Why do you want to publish your book? To make money? To establish yourself as a credible source? To share the joy of reading?
  • What do you want to gain from publishing your book?
  • What would you lose if you didn’t publish your book?
  • Are you tired of leaving your draft to collect cyber cobwebs, locked away for no one to enjoy?

You desire to edit your book, but the key to reaching your goal is defining your “why” so that your dream is no longer an abstract idea of “editing more.” Once you know what your purpose is, grab a piece of paper or your smartphone and write down your purpose. It doesn’t have to be long. Trying to keep it focused to your one or two reasons for writing and publishing.

For example, my purpose for writing fiction books is to be able to capture on paper all the fantastic worlds and characters swirling around in my head and to be able to share the joy and wonder of reading with others like so many authors have done for me.

2. Make a Plan

Neglecting this step is the other big reason why most people don’t accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. Without a map that shows you what path to take to reach your goal, you will wander aimlessly and eventually lose your way. Setting goals and placing them strategically along your route will help you stay on track and measure your progress.

Brainstorm Goals

Start by brainstorming ideas for every little step that you’ll need to take to get from where your book is now to where you want it to be—published for others to read and enjoy. These goals can be anything that you would like to accomplish over the course of editing your book. One goal could be “add emotional depth to my protagonist,” and another could be “read through my draft and mark plot holes.”

Don’t spend time worrying about how you are going to do these things, in what order you should do them, or that dreaded feeling that you forgot a step entirely. Just like brainstorming ideas for a story, this is your chance to get down all the things you want to do for your manuscript, and more ideas will come as you write goals down.

Organize Your Goals

Using the brainstormed list of goals you already compiled, rearrange them in the order that they need to be accomplished. You could create large categories with sub goals or one long list. For example, your first big goal would be to reread your manuscript. A sub goal under that could be to read your manuscript looking only for long sections of dialogue with no action or description and marking those pages to revise later.

Once you have your categories and lists organized in the order you want to accomplish them, separate them into monthly, weekly, or daily goals. It’s important that you have at least weekly goals that you can use as mile markers so that you can check your progress and make sure you are still moving forward.

Keep Track of Your Goals

There are so many different tools available to help you keep track of your goals and help you stay on track. If you don’t already know whether you prefer paper or smartphone or one planner or app over another, you will just have to experiment with a few until you find what works for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

You might also find that you use different tools for different tasks. I use all of the above tools, but each one has a completely different purpose. For example, I have a giant wet erase wall calendar that I use for my word count goals during a month, allowing me to easily see and keep track of my daily word count. But I use Trello as my editorial calendar to keep track of my blog post ideas, which ones are written, which ones need editing, etc.

3. Work the Plan

Once you’ve completed steps 1-3, it’s time to get to work. That’s right. That novel won’t edit itself, unfortunately (wouldn’t that be great though?). You can plan all day, every day, but in the end, if you don’t carry out that plan, then it’s useless.

It may be at this point that you start to question whether or not you have what it takes. Whether or not your novel is really worth all this work. I know because I’ve had those thoughts every time I finish a first draft. And every time, I have to be reminded that all this work will be worth it in the end when I get to hold my finished novel in my hands. You’ve come this far already, so don’t stop now. Take your plan and put it into action.

Bonus Tip: Accountability

If you really want to make sure you don’t back out on your editing plan when things get tough (because it will get tough), then ask someone you trust if he or she will hold you accountable through this process. I truly believe that accountability is the most forsaken but vital key to accomplishing our goals, no matter what those goals are. It’s a lot harder to procrastinate editing your book if you know that your friend is going to ask you every week what progress you’ve made.

Give someone a copy of your goals with their due dates, and establish some sort of accountability schedule, whether you will text every day, call each other once a week, or meet up once a month. The point is that you both know what is expected and how often it’s expected. Then, let that person hold you accountable.

One more note of encouragement:

Slow progress is better than no progress.

It’s so easy for us writers to beat ourselves up because we aren’t yet where we’d like to be, because our book will never be good enough, or because we can never stick to our goals. However, I would much rather make slow, consistent progress than to get sucked down by these thoughts and only write or edit a couple of months out of the year. If you have a goal of editing 1 page a day or 25 pages a day, that’s great! It doesn’t matter if someone else is editing 100 pages a day because you are making progress on your book. That’s what’s important.

So, why not start now? Share in the comments below what your purpose for publishing your book is or some of your goals for getting you from an unpublished author to a published author, and then start editing your book!

4 Ways to Name Your Characters

4 Ways to Name Your Characters

The names you choose can determine how your readers perceive your character, and you want to make sure your readers get the right idea. So, how do you make sure your readers get the right idea? And how do you even begin to think about which name to choose when there are so many? I share four different ways that you can narrow down your options and choose the right names.

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How to Self-Edit Your Novel

How to Self-Edit Your Novel

Have you ever struggled with how to edit your how novel? Have you felt lost, unsure what to edit first? I break down the editing process into 4 separate rounds and 24 different action items that will make the editing process simpler for you. I have also created a FREE self-editing checklist so that you can keep track of all of your edits.

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How to Write Better Description (Plus, a Prompt for Practice)

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I’m sure that as an author, you already know that description is extremely important. You also know that most people say, “Show don’t tell.” And you know that there can be a fine line between too much description and not enough description. So where do you even start?

I’m going to share with you how I practice and develop my description writing skills, and you can do it too no matter what stage of your author journey you are in. My method doesn’t even require a WIP.

But first, let’s look at an example of description that falls flat and see how we can improve it.

Mara moved around the outskirts of the camp, avoiding as many people as she could. She had to talk to William’s parents immediately, and the seditionists would only slow her down.

This is an example from my own writing in my Kingdom Chronicles series. I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo, so I didn’t agonize over creating the perfect descriptions in every scene. But now that I’m revising it, it’s time to see how I can improve it.

The most effective and vivid description appeals to our senses. It uses concrete nouns and verbs that we can relate to from our own experience. It gives us a glimpse into the character’s world even if that world doesn’t really exist.

My example consists of only two sentences, and there is nothing in it that gives you an idea of what Mara’s surroundings look like or what she hears, tastes, or feels. As authors, we have to show our reader what our characters experience.

Also, a lack of description can often lead us to tell the reader exactly what is happening or what the character plans to do. I see this a lot from new authors, and I am guilty of it myself.

Instead of letting what Mara is trying to do and who stands in her way unfold naturally, I flat out tell you. There is no excitement, suspense, or conflict in that statement, and that will certainly bore my readers. They don’t want to be told everything like I’m spoon feeding them. They want to uncover the plots, conflicts, worlds, and characters for themselves.

Below, you can read my revision of the first example. Notice the words I use that relate to our senses, and look for the ways that I reveal Mara’s objective and obstacles without stating it plainly.

Mara peered out from behind a tree, searching for the seditionists that were on guard outside the camp. She spotted two of them talking off to her right, and the taller one was facing her direction. He threw back his head and let out a boisterous laugh, and Mara furrowed her brow at him even though he couldn’t see her. He wouldn’t be laughing if he did his job long enough to know that there was a war brewing amongst kingdoms.

Mara kicked the dirt at her feet and forced up a small pebble. She bounced it in her hand to feel the dense weight of it before closing her fist around it. She stepped out enough to get her arm around the tree, threw the pebble into the woods away from her, and ducked back behind the tree.

She heard the two men stop talking mid sentence followed by the swoosh of swords being drawn. The leaves rustled on the forest floor as the men went to investigate the noise opposite of Mara.

Mara peaked around the tree again, and she saw the backs of the guards facing her. She crouched low to the ground and briskly headed into the camp, silently crunching the leaves under her slender frame. She reached the edge of the first row of tents and paused, listening for people milling about in the camp. Dozens of voices mingled in the air, but she was listening for only one.

By adding description, I am able to give you a better understanding of where Mara is, her objective and obstacles (without bluntly stating it), and her solution in a much more entertaining and descriptive way.

You probably noticed that I appealed mainly to your sense of sight and sound. I didn’t use all the senses because it wasn’t necessary for this scene. You may have scenes in your book that will require all your senses, but most of the time, you will just need one to three at a time.

Also, if you’re struggling to make your plot stretch out to novel length in word count, look and see if you can include more description somewhere in your book. My original example was 1 paragraph consisting of 2 sentences and 31 words, but my revision was 4 paragraphs consisting of 13 sentences and 244 words.

So, how do you get better at writing description?

It’s simple: you read great description, you write description, and you get feedback on your description.

Read Description

When I’m struggling with creating engaging description, I pick up a book I like and read it, analyzing how that author used the senses, weaved in the character’s thoughts, and used dialogue to break it up. The best books to study are those in your genre, and if you’re not sure where to start, ask a friend who reads similar books.

Write Description

However, you can read description all day every day and still not get any better at writing it. You must start practicing. You can practice by revising your own writing like I did with my books, but I suggest that you do not start there.

Start with a random writing prompt. You can find them all over the internet, especially on Pinterest, and they often come in the form of dialogue prompts. The best prompts for practicing description are pictures. It can be a picture of anything. The point is to take what you see and describe it using your senses. You can create a character to place in that scene, or you can use the person in the picture if it has one. Focus on what your character sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels, but remember that you don’t have to use them all at once.

The benefit of using a prompt instead of your own story is that it frees you from the distractions of developing plot and characters. It’s easy to get caught up in moving your story forward, and that can quickly pull you away from focusing solely on practicing description.

If you’re not sure where to start, use this picture that I found on Pinterest.

 Once you've given this exercise a try (or if you're not sure how to do it), you can head on over to  The Write-Up  to see what me and other writers came up with.

Once you've given this exercise a try (or if you're not sure how to do it), you can head on over to The Write-Up to see what me and other writers came up with.

Get Feedback on Description

Finally, get feedback on your description. I know this can be a scary thought for some people, but this last step will force you to push your skills to the next level. Ask someone to read what you wrote from the above picture without showing the picture to him or her. Ask specific questions related to description. For example, could they picture what the character’s surroundings look like?

Since this topic is so important and often difficult to get the hang of, I encourage you to share what you write about the above picture with the rest of us. Share your writing in the comments below, and your fellow authors, as well as myself, can then give you feedback. If you have specific questions or something you struggle with, be sure to mention that so we can help you with that topic.

When offering feedback, remember that this is a place to help and encourage our fellow authors. There’s no need to be rude. Instead, kindly offer specific feedback with the purpose of helping and encouraging another author.

And remember that as writers, we will always practice and search for ways to improve our own writing. That’s part of the joy of writing. So don’t stress about getting it exactly right the first time. The point is to have fun and learn.

Keep writing!

Meagan Nicole

  

The #1 POV Mistake and How to Fix It

POV Mistake

Have you ever read a book, completely immersed in the world and characters, when the author suddenly writes something that destroys your suspended belief? It’s a terrible feeling. No reader likes returning to reality before they’re ready, and no author wants to do that to their readers.

Switching point of views (POVs) abruptly when you shouldn’t is one way that you can guarantee ruining a reader’s experience. I like to call it “head hopping.” It is the #1 POV mistake I see in novels written from the first person or third person limited omniscient POV. (Click here to better understand the different POVs.)

The first person and third person limited require that only one character be the POV character. As soon as a scene or chapter changes, you can change POV characters, but you must again stick with that one character until there is another scene or chapter change.

Identifying Head Hopping

Take a look at this example from my WIP and see if you can identify the POV character and spot the POV change.

Drake’s muscles tightened as he resisted the overwhelming urge to take that swing he imagined. “I have responsibilities that require my attention. Not that I owe any explanation to you any more than I do a housemaid.”

“Then why are you neglecting your ‘responsibilities’ for a few hours ride on your horse?” Fredrick asked.

“You know nothing about being a prince,” Drake said through clenched teeth.

Fredrick leaned forward and gave a half grin. “Your father taught me everything.”

Drake lunged toward Fredrick and took a swing. Fredrick side stepped the attack, sending Drake fumbling into the stone wall behind him. Drake spun around to find Fredrick laughing. He couldn’t believe that Drake was idiotic enough to try that move again. While Fredrick reveled in his victory, Drake lunged again, and this time his fist met Fredrick’s stomach. Fredrick involuntarily doubled over, and Drake brought his arm back for another blow.

Did you see it? If not, read it one more time and ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What POV is this written in?
  • Who is the main character?
  • Are there any sentences that come from another character’s POV (or thoughts or emotions)?

In order to fix head hopping, you have to be able to identify it first. The simplest way to do that is to start by identifying the main character (MC), and in this example, the MC is Drake. We can also tell that this is written in third person limited.

Once we know those details, we can filter everything we read through Drake. Every single word that is written must come from what Drake sees, hears, smells, feels, and thinks, and it can only come from Drake.

With that in mind, when we come to a sentence like “He couldn’t believe that Drake was idiotic enough to try that move again,” we should be able to pick it out as head hopping. Since I’m writing strictly from Drake’s POV in this scene, I cannot share Fredrick’s thoughts about Drake. I can only write through Drake’s mind and eyes.

Editing Head Hoping

After finding head hopping in your writing, you have three options: delete the sentence, rewrite it, or change POVs.

Delete the Sentence

In my example, I can easily delete the sentence without losing anything that the reader should know.

Drake lunged toward Fredrick and took a swing. Fredrick side stepped the attack, sending Drake fumbling into the stone wall behind him. Drake spun around to find Fredrick laughing. While Fredrick reveled in his victory, Drake lunged again, and this time his fist met Fredrick’s stomach. Fredrick involuntarily doubled over, and Drake brought his arm back for another blow.

In your own writing, if the story can progress without that head hopping information, delete it. Don’t force the information if it doesn’t belong, and don’t try to hold on to it just because you like the way you wrote it. More than likely, your readers will be just fine without it.

Rewrite It

If the information is crucial for your readers to know currently or at a later time, revise the sentence so that it comes from your POV character instead of someone else.

Drake lunged toward Fredrick and took a swing. Fredrick side stepped the attack, sending Drake fumbling into the stone wall behind him. Drake spun around to find Fredrick laughing at him, and Drake admonished himself for being idiotic enough to try that move again. While Fredrick reveled in his victory, Drake lunged again, and this time his fist met Fredrick’s stomach. Fredrick involuntarily doubled over, and Drake brought his arm back for another blow.

Now, Drake scolds himself for his idiotic move. This keeps the same idea that it wasn’t the first time Drake tried to swing at Fredrick, but it comes from Drake’s mind so that I don’t stray from my POV.

Change POV

Sometimes revising the head hopping sentence or paragraph just isn’t enough to get the information across. When that happens, you can bring your current scene or chapter to a conclusion and start the next scene from a different POV character. That will allow you a lot more freedom in expressing the information or thoughts of that character than you would have if you tried to stick with your original POV.

This technique is used a lot in fiction writing. In one of my battle scenes in my WIP, I start the battle from Drake’s POV, and then I end the scene and switch to another character’s POV so that I can reveal events during the battle that Drake isn’t privy to.

No matter what measures you put in place to avoid head hopping, you will inevitably slip into it at some point during the drafting stage, and that’s okay. We all do it. Finding and editing head hopping is just one of the many things that you should be looking for during your revision stage. It’s a simple fix once you get used to identifying it.

If you find head hopping in your own writing, share with us in the comments below and show us how you’d revise it. One of the best ways to learn is through studying lots of examples.

Keep writing and editing!

Meagan Nicole

  

Understanding Point of View

Understanding Point of View

Choosing the right point of view for your story is crucial. Your POV will determine how your readers get immersed in the story. But how do you even begin to choose the right point of view? Let’s start by looking at the three most popular POVs.

First Person:

First Person POV is when the book is written like your main character is talking to the reader, telling his or her own story. Pronouns such as I, me, and my are used in this POV. This POV is used in popular fiction like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Here’s an example from Divergent:

“I sit on the stool and my mother stands behind me with the scissors, trimming. The strands fall on the floor in a dull, blond ring.”

As you can see in the excerpt, Veronica Roth also writes in the present tense, which shows that everything the main character is telling us is happening as she tells us.

This POV limits you to one character, which means the readers can only know what your main character knows. In Allegiant, Roth finds her way around the limited POV by switching POV characters from Tobias to Tris every chapter. That allowed Roth to maintain the first person POV while allowing her to reveal information and events to the reader that she would not have been able to do otherwise.

Third Person Omniscient:

Third Person Omniscient is written from the outside looking in. Pronouns such as he, she, his, and hers are used because we are observing the characters from the outside instead of being in their heads. It is written in the past tense.

The thing that separates this POV from Third Person Limited is that the omniscient POV allows the readers a glimpse into any of the characters’ minds at any time.

In Little Women, Louisa May Alcott gets us into the minds of all the characters while maintaining the third person POV.

“Jo’s face was a study, for the secret rather weighed upon her, and she found it hard not to look mysterious and important. Meg observed it, but did not trouble herself with inquires, for she had learned that the best way to manage Jo was by the law of contrary, so she felt sure of being told everything if she did not ask.”

In the first sentence, we’re given a glimpse into Jo’s thoughts and her struggle to look unimportant or risk telling her secret. In the second sentence, we learn that Meg knows she is hiding something. We can only know the thoughts of both women because Alcott chose to right in the omniscient POV.

Third Person Omniscient was more common in literature in the nineteenth century than it is today, but authors are still using this as a device to tell their stories.

Third Person Limited Omniscient:

Unlike the Omniscient POV, Third Person Limited Omniscient only lets us into the mind of one character. This POV still uses pronouns like he and she, but the focus remains on one character, who is often the main character. This POV is also written in past tense.

While J. K. Rowling strays from the limited POV on a couple of occasions, she mostly uses the limited POV in her Harry Potter series.

“Harry kept to his room, with his new pet owl for company. He had decided to call her Hedwig, a name he had found in A History of Magic.”

Some authors will have the same POV character throughout the whole novel or series. Other authors choose to alternate POV characters so that the readers can see events they wouldn’t be able to if the author remained with one character.

I used the Third Person Limited Omniscient for my novella Wynter. I use my protagonist, Wynter, as the POV character in the first chapter, and I switch my POV character to my antagonist, Lucinda, in the next chapter. I continue alternating each chapter through the end of the book.

Many romance novels will also alliterate POVs so that the readers can get into the minds of both the hero and heroine.

If you use this POV, you have to make sure not to slip into another character’s mind in the middle of a scene. Only alternate POV characters at the start of a scene change or new chapter.

Which POV should you use?

1. Preference

Some authors choose their novel’s POV simply by preference. I prefer third person limited omniscient because that’s what I usually read, and I enjoy writing it.

If there is one POV you prefer over the other, try writing one of your scenes using that POV. If you don’t have a preference, try writing the same scene three times using the different POVs. Which version do you like best?

2. Genre

If you haven’t already, read a few popular books in the genre you are writing. What POV is the author using? Does the author stick with one POV character, or does the author alternate or use multiple POVs?

First person POV is common in dystopian novels and third person limited is common in fantasy and sci-fi. While you’re not restricted to the writing styles of your genre, it is important to know what those trends are and consider using them in your own writing. Readers often expect certain styles or plot points in their genre, and sometimes it helps to follow those expectations.

3. Limitations

More important than preference and genre is what will serve your story best. If you prefer first person POV but have to clue the readers in to information that your POV character doesn’t know, then you will have to try the omniscient POV or use alternating first person POVs.

Look at your plot and your potential POV characters. If you chose only to write from your protagonists POV, will you leave the reader in the dark about important plot points only the antagonist knows? Or will you confuse your readers if you write in omniscient POV and give them too much information?

Sometimes stories benefit from keeping information from the readers until the end, and other stories give the information up front to heighten the suspense for the reader.

Still not sure which POV to choose?

If you’ve written the same scene in all three POVs, researched which POV is used most in your genre, and analyzed what would serve your plot best and you’re still unsure, ask other writers or readers in your genre. Give them all three POV versions of your scene and ask them to tell you which version they liked best and why. You can even talk through the pros and cons of each POV for your story. Sometimes simply talking out loud helps you find the answer.

If you’re not sure who to ask for feedback, join my Facebook group The Write-Up. It’s exclusive to my subscribers, so all you have to do is subscribe below to receive your invite to join.

The Write-Up is specifically designed for you, the author, to connect with other authors and get feedback on your writing. We also have weekly discussions focused on specific topics, and I’m there regularly to answer your questions as well. I hope to see you there.

Which POV do you use in your writing and why? I’d love to hear how you use your POV to add depth to your story, so share with me in the comments below.

Meagan Nicole

   

Editing Advice from 10 Sucessful Authors

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You know all too well that feeling that forms in your stomach when you look at the first draft of your manuscript. Your confidence that soared high when you finished the draft comes crashing down when you come back a few weeks later and discover a messy thing you called a novel.

But you're not alone.

Every writer has come face to face with that feeling at least once, and there are ways to get through it and edit your novel.

Here are ten pieces of editing advice from authors:

1. “No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published." — J. Russell Lynes

2. “Your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.” — Kurt Vonnegut, How to Use the Power of the Printed Word

3. “The waste basket is a writer's best friend.” —Isaac Bashevis Singer

4. “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke." — Arthur Plotnik

5. “There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them.” — Elie Wiesel

6. “By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” — Roald Dahl

7. “There is but one art, to omit.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

8. “The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” — Neil Gaiman

9. “Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in the edit.” — Will Self

10. “When in doubt, delete it.” — Philip Cosby

Are there other editing (or writing) quotes that inspire you to keeping working even when you're discouraged? I love hearing new quotes, so share them with me in the comments below!

Meagan Nicole