Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave

Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave

by Don McNair


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610351782
Publisher: Linden Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Series: Great Books for Writers
Pages: 215
Sales rank: 1,315,251
Product dimensions: 6.18(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

Don McNair spent his working life editing magazines, producing public relations materials for an international PR firm, and heading his own marketing communications firm, McNair Marketing Communications. He is the winner of three Golden Trumpets from the Publicity Club of Chicago and the Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America. He has authored hundreds of trade magazine articles, three how-to books, and several young-adult and suspense novels. He Lives in Foley, Alabama.

Table of Contents

Introduction: You can be published! ix

Part 1 Putting Words In

Chapter 1 Your classroom? It's your first chapter! 2

Chapter 2 Why you should be a hooker 5

Chapter 3 What's your point of view? 14

Chapter 4 Don't be an information dumper 17

Chapter 5 Your manuscript is a Christmas tree 22

Chapter 6 William Brennan: A "Christmas tree" case history 28

Chapter 7 Make your scenes work harder 32

Chapter 8 Don't discuss sows' ears with silken words 34

Chapter 9 You say your heroine doesn't hate your hero? Too bad! 38

Chapter 10 But they have to like each other, too! 43

Part 2 Taking Words Out

Introduction: 21 Steps to fog-free writing 48

Step 1 Use fewer -ing words 54

Step 2 Use fewer infinitives 61

Step 3 Change passive voice to active voice 67

Step 4 Avoid "expletive" and "had _____ that" constructions 70

Step 5 Use fewer "hads" in internal dialogue 74

Step 6 Shorten verbs 78

Step 7 Eliminate double verbs 81

Step 8 Eliminate double nouns, adjectives, and adverbs 84

Step 9 Watch for foggy phrases 88

Step 10 Remove character filters 99

Step 11 Delete -ly words 105

Step 12 Get rid of all dialogue tags except "said" 109

Step 13 Now, get rid of "said"! 113

Step 14 Cut the dialogue! 118

Step 15 Eliminate redundancies 122

Step 16 Use fewer prepositional phrases 130

Step 17 Get rid of throwaway words 135

Step 18 Edit for conciseness 143

Step 19 Avoid clichés like the plague 148

Step 20 Get rid of superficials 156

Step 21 Stop those wandering eyes 159

Part 3 Sharing Your Words

Introduction: Sharing Your Work 164

Chapter 11 Critique partners 165

Chapter 12 Professional editors 168

Chapter 13 Publishers and agents 172

Chapter 14 Writing the query letter 176

Chapter 15 Writing the synopsis 181

Appendix 185

Exercise Solutions 186

Sarah's Perils Solutions 195

Mystery on Firefly Knob Synopsis 207

Novels used as examples 213

Index 214

About the author 218

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"All writers, seasoned or newbie, should read, absorb, and put to use the lessons Don McNair offers in Editor-Proof Your Writing." —www.NYJournalOfBooks.com

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Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
StacyThompson More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely one of the most valuable writer's references I've ever owned. I bought multiple copies. One for myself. And a second for my family to share. Thank you Mr. McNair. I'm beyond elated to have this book.
GaleStanley More than 1 year ago
Some writers complain when they get their edits back. I'm not one of them. Well, maybe I groaned a bit when I saw all the blood on my first few books, but I've learned quite a bit since then, and the amount of red has gotten considerably less. I accept the comments and suggestions gratefully because I know the common goal is to produce a book that is the best it can be.  This is a great time to be a writer. There are so many opportunities we didn't have in the past. Small press, self-publishing… But those same opportunities make self-editing even more important. Before submitting and after, we need to refine our manuscripts as much as possible.  Don McNair's book makes that a lot easier. When I received an advance copy for review I was in the midst of edits and I worked through them using Editor-Proof Your Writing. I like the way the material is presented. The lessons are interesting without being overloaded with a lot of theory. I made good use of the twenty-one steps to fog-free writing.  Steps such as – use fewer –ing words, change passive voice to active voice, eliminate double verbs and get rid of dialogue tags were very helpful. Do they work? Compare the before and after examples and see for yourself.  It’s not just about the grammar and spelling. There's also good information on critique partners, publishers, and writing the query letter and synopsis.  The book helped me produce a more polished story. I highly recommend it. Two thumbs up!