I recently finished reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. You might recall, that I referenced this craft book in an earlier post. At the time, I recently finished the chapter on beats in dialogue. Well, let me tell you, that wasn’t the only great chapter in this short writing manual.
I’m impressed with Chapter 11: Sophistication. This chapter is chock-full of practical advice for improving your prose and makes the book worth its $14.99 price tag. The stylistic choices (like overusing adverbs) the authors advise to avoid are easy to track down. In fact, I’ve taken to using the find function in my word processor to highlight these so I can quickly eliminate them. Some of the other examples given are equally simple to track down. I’ve found following the advice always or, at least, almost always improves the writing. Right now, I’m going through my entire manuscript to eliminate these less than sophisticated stylistic choices.