The rough draft of a story comes easily for many writers. When it comes to editing fiction to make it smooth and enjoyable, however, many are at a loss, but this step is easier than most authors think. In fact, a few simple steps can create a world of change in your work. Follow these tips for polishing your novel:
- Use appropriate and frequent paragraph breaks. This gives the reader a break throughout the material.
- Use only one name for a character. It is okay to call your character by their first or last name but you shouldn’t alternate between the two. Also, refrain from referring to them by their profession, i.e. the doorman, the butler, etc. This can make it confusing for the reader and can pull them right out of the story.
- When editing fiction, choose different names with different sounds for your characters. The names Steve and Stan may be different but the similar sounds can make it hard for readers to differentiate between them throughout the text.
- Avoid using slang. Oftentimes, a reader may not be familiar with a slang term, which can create confusion and pull them from the story. It also dates your work, limiting its shelf life. If you do decide to use slang, be sure to clarify its meaning in a subtle way.
- Limit your use of offensive language. This may come naturally to some characters but many readers are alienated by profanity.
- Keep your characters from speaking too long without interruption. A good rule of thumb is to limit dialogue to a three-sentence maximum. This will give your readers a break and keeps them on their toes. Any more than that may make them zone out and miss important details.
These tips for editing fiction are simple and easy to learn. Follow them and you can use them to make your novel shine without a lot of time or effort.
Once you have every word perfectly placed, it’s time to contact CMYK Graphix, Inc. As a professional printing company they’ll help you customize your novel and get it on the shelves as quickly as possible. CMYK Graphix provides one-stop shopping for self-publishing books and other promotional print items. As the No. 1 choice in book printing today, CMYK Graphix will not only help you self-publish your book, they will provide the business cards, brochures, and flyers that will get your words out there in the world.