Sunday, October 29, 2006

When is a book done?

I'm a scientist by training. So, I don't just accept my word for the book being done. I have to prove it.

I have a rigorous editing technique I put my writing through. I double check the big picture to see if that came out right, then I take apart the scenes to make sure they have meaning. I'm a big fan of Margie Lawson's EDITS technique, which means I use colored highlighters to check for balance of dialogue, setting, narrative, emotion, and tension. After I finish all that, I let the work sit for a bit. Then I do a final read through. For me, that's an essential because sometimes in all that editing, the music of the words gets mucked up. The last read is to make sure the music is still there. With each book, my craft becomes smoother and hopefully more appealing to agents, editors, and readers.

It just goes to show, you can't fight your nature. Mine is to be organized and systematic. What's yours?

Until next Monday, Maggie Toussaint

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