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final, final edits

editingIt is my understanding that there are three kinds of writers: native storytellers, wordsmiths, and the rarest-of-rare, those born who are proficient in both. Native storytellers can blast out a first draft–they have a natural sense of story arc. Wordsmiths–I am one of these–love editing and rewriting, and agonize getting the story down on paper. The language may be lovely; the story arc may have flaws that take multiple rewrites to solve. The rare writers born with both skills–perhaps one or two in a generation–are truly blessed.

I heard an apocryphal story of a writer racing down the sidewalk behind his or her editor–who is carrying off the book to be published–crying “I just need to make two more changes! That’s all!” That would be me.

The memoir, Bound to Love, is undergoing one more read by my husband, who is quite good at finding typos, and then will go to a precious editor friend for a final read-through before publishing. After twenty-three years (I had to learn to write), ten rewrites, and one professional editing a few years ago, I’ve got to call it DONE.

My novel, Call Her Home, is undergoing a second rewrite now. I started it fifteen months ago, and I hope to have it completed by the end of 2015.

I plan to spend 2016 framing my blog posts  as a manuscript from http://www.theheartofthematter-dailyreminders.org. A blog is very different from a book; the material requires serious rewriting, finding the frame, and giving it shape. A big, big job.

© Skye Blaine, 2015
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point of view (POV)

Whether you are writing memoir or fiction, your reader is introduced to your story through one of your character’s eyes. This is called the point-of-view character–we see the world being created with words through this point of view. We know the thoughts and feelings of this character, but not the others who populate the story. For people who are just beginning to write, I encourage writing with only one point-of-view character. The next task is learning to control your writing so the story is told through one set of eyes alone. This is not as easy as it sounds.

Notice as you reread your scene:

  • Are you, as the reader, privy to the thoughts of more than one character?
  • Can you look through more than one characters’ eyes?
  • Do you know the inner feelings of more than one character?

If the answer is yes, you have not successfully contained the point of view. Return to your writing with a different eye. Reread the scene, and mark each place you find a POV shift from one character to another. This will make your rewrite easier.

There are many seasoned authors who write from multiple points-of-view successfully, but tackling a first manuscript with more than one POV is like trying to control a team of horses before you even learn to ride.

I learned the hard way. You don’t have to!

© Skye Blaine, 2015

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Filed under Uncategorized, writing