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This How-to-Revise Book is Thorough — Aside from What’s

I picked up Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon from a Little Free Library

Most recommended ‘how-to-revise-a-novel’ books (or ‘how-to-write-fiction’ books in general) are under ten years old

Only a few books, such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, survive

Let’s see what an out-of-fashion book about manuscript revision has to say…

Everyone, including the oddball who read it cover-to-cover, will struggle to remember every point and want a

You’ll make it easier for readers to absorb your knowledge

This books talks at great length how various things affect readers in various ways

According to her bio, she’s “an editor, teacher, and mentor to many writers

Most of her points about how to give readers good experiences ring true

This was published before indie authors stormed the publishing scene by connecting to readers better than traditional

As Thompson describes at length in Book Wars, the traditional publishers (including their editors) didn’t consider

Traditional publishers are becoming more reader-centric, but they haven’t gotten over all of their inertia

The moral here is that not every published author should be emulated in every aspect of craft

I’ve observed that casual readers enjoy lots of direct thought, and most complaints come from professionals

If anything I wrote became as popular as The Da Vinci Code, I wouldn’t mind

I think writing middle-class WASP (or WAS Catholic) is one of the toughest challenges for differentiating character,

I’m not a WASP (or WAS Catholic) but a minority of my ancestry (under 25%) is WASP

My WASP relatives have plenty of differences of ‘voice’ and personalities — and that’s to say nothing

If someone thinks they need to write a non-WASP character in order to differentiate a character in

That Lyon claims making WASPs distinctive is one of the ‘toughest challenges,’ well, it makes me cringe

These chapters have almost nothing to say about readers, and they are all about capturing more ‘magic’

For now, I’m trying the ‘model on other authors’ exercise

I take excerpts from other authors which speak to me, copy them, and then re-work them so

For a book about revising your own manuscript, this has little to say about self-editing

This is a common problem among ‘how-to-revise’ books written by editors whose experience consists almost entirely of

As an indie author who has edited her own fiction extensively, she gets it

She’s provided some of the most helpful advice I’ve found for turning one’s editing

Whereas Lyon misses even the most obvious techniques for self-editing, such as ‘have a cool off period

But if you only read one book, I recommend Self-Editing on a Penny without hesitation