Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inspired by Mark Twain

"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."-- Mark Twain

I'm just finishing the last chapters of my work in progress, the Magicless. I'm looking forward to wrapping up the story. Hopefully, editing will start before Christmas, then maybe beta readers or a SCBWI critique group? I've been pushing myself to continue on with minimal rereading. I always need a goal, or my rabbit-trail tendencies take over and I get nowhere. So I know that this draft is sloppy, without the keen word choices I would like. I can't wait to start really grinding down on it and applying this Mark Twain quote.

Another editing quote of his that I like is, “If you catch an adjective, kill it.” I really need to work on that...and lose a bunch of adverbs too. A good "ly" search in Word should help!

How are your editing skills? Are  you in the middle of editing something? What advice have you found helpful?


  1. Yup, Twain's wisdom prevails. I also use "ly" search and kill all those adverbs and then hunt down the adjectives.

  2. I once read that Brian Jacques would make sure he would use a certain adjective only once per page, to ensure he didn't sound repetitive. :)

  3. Read your book out loud as if you're one of those audio book readers. It takes time, but it will also save you much time.