Write In Style – Publish 15


Bobbie Christmas

Hosted by: Bobbie Christmas Editor & Author, Zebra Communications

Attending my second class I was feeling good about my past decisions after Go Big or Go Indie, now I had to learn how I could be better than my past.

Write in Style was hosted by an energetic editor and author Bobbie Christmas. She has been editing for more than 40 years. After hearing her presentation I instantly thought about some obvious mistakes I and most authors (even the famous ones) make when writing. Interested in making myself the best possible writer for my style I purchased her book Write in Style. She just republished it this year so stay tuned when it is available for purchase on her website. Below I have outlined the important lessons I learned in her workshop leading me to needing this book!

  • Start with the End in mind. Why are you writing this?
  • Set Goals & Deadlines. 
    • This normally is easy for me. My current career outside of writing is all about setting achievable goals and due dates. Normally I have others holding me accountable at my day job outside myself. Writing is a solo career, publishing may be different, so it is all about self-motivation. Since I have not been doing a great job by myself on setting deadlines I have decided to start keeping a daily tracker of my writing and book pursuing habits. Now the world can judge my baby steps. Each day I post a quote to describe my day and what I did or didn’t accomplish. My goal is to write/edit 1000 words of my current rough draft for Book 2 and finish it by 8/17/15.
  • Mind Dump – First Draft lay it all on the table, don’t go back to edit just keep writing until it is all over. Remember you are writing for your target audience. 
  • Editing. Remove more than you put into it. Avoid:
    • Adverbs & Adjectives. At times theycan be short-term friends but only at times.
      • I.E. slowly walked traded for sauntered (stronger verb)
    • Weak Verbs. To be, were, be, am, being, get/got, do (weakest), make, began.
    • -ing words.
    • Repetition. Most common overused word As.
      • Find repetitive words by using the find tool (CTRL + F or Command + F) Put a space before and at the end of the word you are looking for. I.E. _as_
    • Wordy Phrases. Down, up, in order to, all at once, all of a sudden, at that moment, at that point, without warning, just, just then.
    • Undefined Pronouns. There was, there were, there are, it was, it is.
    • Dangling Modifiers. often, start, with, -ing.

This class was a real eye opener of the common mistakes writers make without even being aware. When you are writing your draft it shouldn’t be bogged down by what you should and shouldn’t do. As long as you know how this will all end, you have set goals to get there, and you know your target audience then you have finished a book. Next you have to kill your little darlings. These tips she showed us in the workshop were just the beginning. Some of these tips I wouldn’t have understood until she showed her examples. Once I finish writing my second book I am going to binge read her book and wear out the Finder tool on my document.

Visit Zebra Editor and join their newsletter. Hopefully she won’t find too many editing mistakes on this blog lol.

What editing and writing in style tips do you have?


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