Kill the darlings… practicing what I preach

Scratch out

Previously, I wrote about editing out the adverbs and making your writing tighter, more effective.

So, do I practice what I preach?
I try.

I am knee deep in editing and revising the first 1500 words of my upcoming novel: Nelson & Cora, The Beginning. I am entering the excerpt in a contest at a Writer’s Conference the end of this month.

This is the third round of scratch outs (the non-technical term I use!).

The blue, of course, are edits, notes, revisions.

Another page –

Ignore the shadows, please!

I will make two more read throughs and then call it done.

Writing is never finished, is it? There’s always room to make something better. But, you just run out of time.


Giveaway on Goodreads until March 31 – signed paperback copy of Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey! 

About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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6 Responses to Kill the darlings… practicing what I preach

  1. Tonya Rice says:

    Hi Melinda.
    The rewrite of my chapter 4 was a doozy. There was a final of the chapter I’d been struggling to add. In my mind I saw it coming, in fact it’s already written out, just needed to place it there. It bothered me so much, I moved on to Chapter 5! I couldn’t get the intro for it. So, after I left it alone for a couple of days, I finally realized that where the chapter had currently ended was really the way it was to be. See… sometimes the characters just tell us and I’m left with strands of my hair in my hands!!! 🙂 Not really, but y’know…
    Best of luck with the contest! 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m glad when I can feel that something isn’t working with a chapter, but it is stressful trying to resolve it. Glad you made it through those revisions with your hair in tact! 🙂 I am looking forward to learning more about your book.

  2. Tonya Rice says:

    It was a final “scene”…

  3. S.Z. Williams says:

    Running out of time saves writers from taking a “till death do us part” approach to editing.

  4. Scott Welsh says:

    I should edit with a blue pen too. My manuscripts always end up looking like they’re bleeding.

    Good luck getting those pesky adverbs!

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