Brilliant post Sean!
How many editors there are out there nodding along – I know I am!
From a personal perspective, I find that sometimes it is easier to edit a novel that is overly embellished than it is to edit one on the other end of the scale with no real detail at all. At least the authors know they need to set the scene, even if they don’t quite understand how to get the balance right. It is easier to rein something in, then to try to pull it out; but it’s a learning curve for every author. Once their first novel has been professionally edited and they see where they have gone wrong, their next novel is better from the start. If some of the fledgling authors out there see this post, it might start them out right – as long as they don’t go to the other end of the scale.
Commenting on bad writing is easy and safe for me as a blogger. It allows me to make flippant remarks about the prose and style of others without throwing myself on the sword or putting any of my own work up for the same criticism. So before I get into the meat of this article, I want to make clear that I do not see myself as a flawless writer. I am constantly in search of ways to improve. I am constantly in search of ways to remedy my own flaws. So the observations I’m about to make are based largely on the comments of others, with hope that my readers might find them useful. I’m making no accusations here; I’m only looking to stir the pot a bit by pointing out some interesting flaws you may not have considered.
A Wall Street Journal article was actually the catalyst that…
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