5 Tips for Editing and Revising Fiction

craft fiction Nov 02, 2020

When serving as a fiction judge for the Christianity Today Book Awards, the number one skill author Sarah Arthur looks for in a winning writer is great writing. The definition of “great writing” is, of course, subjective, but as avid readers and writers ourselves, most of us have a sense for what is mediocre, good, and great when it comes to storytelling.

One key to great writing is the ability to edit and revise your own work with fresh eyes. We can aim for great work by putting Sarah’s top five tips for revision into practice.

 

  1. Practice writing an excellent first draft.

Some writing experts recommend writing a terrible first draft in order to quickly get your words on the page, leaving the bulk of the editing for later. This may work for some, but it can also build poor habits and train us to write badly from the beginning. 

 If we give the first draft our best effort, we will inevitably become better writers through our commitment to...

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What Are Editors Looking For?

craft editor publishing Aug 24, 2020

The growth of the internet as a publishing outlet has offered many writers the opportunity to share their stories in ways that were not possible before; however, this gift can be a double-edged sword. Because of the proliferation of content online, it’s easy for a writer’s voice to be drowned out by other voices producing content on the same topics.

At hope*writers, we want the words you publish to stand out from the rest, so we sat down with experienced editor Stephanie Smith for a conversation about what she looks for in a writer.

She offers the following tips to help you go from writer to author by refining your ideas for a word-saturated market. 

Choose an Angle

Universal topics such as family relationships, vulnerability, coping with anxiety, and personal growth continue to resonate with readers, regardless of how many writers explore these subjects. Stephanie urges us to follow the poet Emily Dickinson’s advice: “Tell all the truth but tell it...

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Bring Your Whole Self to Your Story

craft story voice Aug 17, 2020

Have you ever read an older piece you’ve written and wondered why you sound so unlike your everyday self? As writers, it’s tempting to hide our true voice, or keep certain aspects of our lives or our life experiences out of our stories because we’re afraid of how readers might perceive us. This is a form of perfectionism, and it can influence how and what we’re willing to share on the page.

When we focus too much on how we’re perceived in our writing, it can keep us from meeting our readers' needs and allowing them to connect with our story. Writer, podcaster, and pastor Osheta Moore knows this temptation too well. She sat down with hope*writers to discuss how she’s learned to embrace her full, whole self as a writer, and how we can do the same.

Osheta knows how hard it can be to tackle difficult topics. Her readers look to her to help them discover how their everyday lives intersect with peacemaking, and how they can live out peacemaking in...

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