Running Lines: Editing on the Micro-Level
Let’s talk about sentences and the words that make up your sentences.
Because y’all have now mastered the high-level editing we talked about in the first two installments of our February nonfiction know-how, right? You understand developmental editing – choosing your literary conflict and pruning it down to fit your post size? You’re good with structural editing – deciding the order in which your story is going to unfold?
Structural Editing: How your story unfolds
Our February nonfiction know-how is all about editing – from the highest level of story concept all the way down to the most specific level of individual word choice. Last week I wrote about developmental editing, the process of narrowing your story idea to one literary conflict appropriate for a 1000-word essay. This week we move to structural editing and look at how you are telling that story you’ve so carefully pruned down. Structural editing is all about focusing on the order in which events unfold.
Developmental Editing: Finding your Story
You should be editing your work. Yes, I know you’ve gotten great comments and even been published and hell, maybe you’ve even won awards for essays that you dashed off, skimmed once, and hit publish on.
You can do better.
January Nonfiction Know-how Round-up
Rowan and I were on fire this month, if I do say so myself, giving you nonfiction knowhow lessons at the front and back end of every week’s challenge grid in January. Our goal: To help you write to connect with your reader, thereby avoiding the blogging pitfall of writing like your blog is a personal diary, the virtual equivalent of the journal you’d tuck underneath your mattress and hope your nosy older sibling wouldn’t find.
Letting Your Readers Do Some Work
I’m having so much fun this month playing tag team with Rowan teaching you ways to use your writing to connect with your readers so that your essays allow them to say “me too” after reading. You know, rather than having you just say “me, me, me.”
The Art of the Single Scene Story
A great way to better understand what we’re looking for in editor’s picks here at yeah write is to closely read the essays we select for that honor, together with our comments. Last week, in the commentary on my nonfiction pick from Lisa at Pryvate Parts, I praised her “unflinching dedication to story.” I want to dig a little deeper into that statement, because therein lies a perfect way for you to achieve what Rowan and I are teaching you all this month: the difference between writing for yourself and writing to connect with your readers.