With the recent reshuffle at The Writers’ Block, we have introduced several new workshops to hone writing skills. One key area is that of editing, your own work as well as that of others. Through editing exercises, we hope to give our members the confidence to look at their own work through the eyes of an editor in order to improve their craft. Of course, those who wish to build editing skills also benefit. We held the inaugural editing 101 session last night on our server, and I am happy to say it was a huge success. As well as some regular members, we were happy to see some new arrivals wishing to take part.
What Did We Do?
@Rhondak provided us with the start of a novel by an unnamed, well known, and long-established author. It was our task to tear it to pieces and see what we didn’t like and how it could be improved. This was accomplished mostly in the workouts voice channel, but also in the editing 101 text channel. Overall the piece was clunky to read with a lot of ‘head hopping’ – at times it was difficult to discern which character was which and how they fit in the story. We also felt that the entire first section was unnecessary and there was judicious use of was and were throughout. These are weak verbs, and stronger ones should replace them wherever possible. Once we were done dissecting the piece, we were somewhat shocked to learn who the author was.
What Did We Learn?
No matter who the writer is, it’s always better to get at least a second pair of eyes on your work. Even established authors, like the one whose work we picked apart, benefit from doing this.. We had @anarcho-andrei read the piece over the mic. Reading aloud is a useful technique for catching the flow of the work, or in this case, its jarring nature.
When’s the next session?
The next editing 101 session starts at 6 pm EDT / 10 pm UTC / 11 pm GMT, next Tuesday, July 17th over at The Writers’ Block Discord server. Click the image below to join. It is certainly not compulsory that you have a microphone, but you will get far more out of the session if you do.