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Lessons from MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: Revision and Self-Editing with Lee Allen Howard (@LeeAllenHoward)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In Many Genres, One Craft, award-winning author Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller gather the voices of today’s top genre writers and writing instructors alongside their published students. It fosters the writing process in a way that focuses almost exclusively on writing the novel. Using a compilation of instructional articles penned by well-known authors affiliated with Seton Hill University’s acclaimed MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction, the book emphasizes how to write genre novels and commercially appealing fiction. The articles are modeled after actual “learning modules” that have successfully taught students in the program how to reach a wider audience for over a decade.

Excerpt from “Your Very First Editor” by Lee Allen Howard

Many Genres-One Craft

If writing a manuscript is like building a house, then revision is renovation—modifying the existing structure, such as putting up or taking down walls. Revision starts with the rough work or reorganizing the big pieces, and takes you from the first draft to the second. Self-editing takes you from the last draft to the final version you submit to an agent or publisher. This means you should complete your revision before you fine-tune your prose. In other words, don’t paint the drywall before you cut it, nail it to the studs, and patch the seams.

Revision is remodeling; self-editing is detailing—when every sentence and each word count.

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Work Cited:

Howard, Lee Allen. “Your Very First Editor.” Many Genres, One Craft. Eds. Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books, Inc., 2011. 47. Print.

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