WGF: Revision & Self-Editing

From the Write Great Fiction series, Revision & Self-Editing offers techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel.
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Write Great Fiction: Revision and Self-Editing
Techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel
by James Scott Bell
Writer's Digest Books, 2008
ISBN 978-158297-508-5
$16.99 paperback, 272 pages

Read an Excerpt!
In this excerpt from chapter fifteen, discover why it's so important to do a careful first read-through of your manuscript before you start the revising and editing.

Online Exclusive: Q&A With Author James Scott Bell
Find out why Christy Award-winning author James Scott Bell thinks setting a personal writing quota is so important, and much more.

You've Got a First Draft. Now What?
In Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing, James Scott Bell draws on his experience as a novelist and instructor to provide specific revision tips geared toward the first read-through, as well as targeted self-editing instruction focusing on the individual elements of a novel like plot, structure, characters, theme, voice, style, setting, and endings. You’ll learn how to:

  • Write a cleaner first draft right out of the gate using Bell’s plotting principles
  • Get the most out of revision and self-editing techniques by honing your skills with detailed exercises
  • Systematically revise a completed draft using the ultimate revision checklist that talks you through the core story elements

Whether you’re in the process of writing a novel, have a finished draft you don’t know what to do with, or have a rejected manuscript you don’t know how to fix, Revision & Self-Editing gives you the guidance you need to write and revise like a pro.

(Get more Tips on Revising Your Work: 3 Easy-To-Use Revision Techniques)

About the Author
James Scott Bell is a best-selling novelist (Try Dying, Presumed Guilty) and the author of Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure (Writer’s Digest Books). He lives and writes in Los Angeles. For more information, visit his Web site at www.jamesscottbell.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction: On Becoming a Writer

Part One: Self-Editing
Chapter 1: A Philosophy of Self-Editing
Chapter 2: Characters
Chapter 3: Plot & Structure
Chapter 4: Point of View
Chapter 5: Scenes
Chapter 6: Dialogue
Chapter 7: Beginnings, Middles & Ends
Chapter 8: Show vs. Tell
Chapter 9: Voice & Style
Chapter 10: Setting & Description
Chapter 11: Exposition
Chapter 12: Theme

Part Two: Revision
Chapter 13: A Philosophy of Revision
Chapter 14: Before You Revise
Chapter 15: The First Read-Through
Chapter 16: The Ultimate Revision Checklist

The Opening
Voice, Style & Point of View
Setting & Description
The Polish

Epilogue: The Trick That Cannot Be Explained
Appendix: Exercise Answers