Oct 11 2009
Hello, this is Marissa with today’s lesson in practicality.
Today, you’ll be looking at a work like an editor would. This will help you get inside their head, which will in turn help you shape your story into something a publisher just might consider.
1. Take your favorite book off the shelf. If you don’t have your favorite book, it’d probably be easiest to pick the favorite one you own. That way, you’ll have it on hand. If you have your heart set on a different book, though, go ahead and use that one.
2. Reply to this entry with the title and author of the favorite book, then one (or a few) things you–the editor, remember–would have changed. This can be in the form of plot points you disliked (using Soon I Will Be Invincible as an example: I would have told the story that ended before the book begins, rather than spending the entire book backtracking on the past), characters that were flat and needed dimension (cough, Bella?), or even a page-long edit like B. Mac did for Twilight. This last option will only really be effective if you can scan the page in question, or link to where they might be read. Please, for the sake of length, don’t paste the whole page in the comment.
This lesson in practicality very much relies on the old adage, ‘Kill your darlings.’ If you can learn to criticize elements of your favorite books, you’re one step closer to looking realistically at your own.