The microphones again find us aboard the Independence of the Seas*, to talk about how terribly ugly this manuscript is, and what we can do to make it pretty. In this episode we drill down on line-by-line, paragraph-by-paragraph revisions. This stage of the revision process is where our prose gets wordsmithed. This episode runs long, touching on:
- Punching up the pacing
- Turning things upside down
- Adverbial compression,
- The pyramid of abstraction
- Free and direct thought
- Replacing negative-information descriptions
- extreme editing exercises like “one sentence per concept.”
Obviously if you want more than just the bullet points you’ll need to have a listen…
This episode was engineered aboard The Independence of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered ashore in a volcanic caldera by Alex Jackson.
Here’s a tough one: Make an editing pass in which you cut 10% of the words on each page.
Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners, by Ellen Kushner