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ABK Stories

the 7 Keys to the Kingdom- Misunderstood Writing Advice

#6 Revision is a process of refinement

Editing has nothing to do with how good or bad a story is. Editing has to do with how close a work can get to the best that story will allow. A bad story can be written beautifully, e.g. anything Hemmingway ever wrote, and a good story can be written badly, e.g. the Dialogue of H.P Lovecraft. A story’s relative goodness or badness has nothing to do with what needs to be fixed.

I try to explain this as often as I can when tutoring, but I can’t say it enough. Editing only makes what you have better and has nothing to do with it being bad. That said, you can tell when something has not been edited- and we call those works “bad” because the author was lazy, not because the story was terrible.

Try to keep this in mind as you edit. The goal is to remove what isn’t working, and when someone points out errors to you throw away your ego because if it didn’t work for them your book will be in the on sale section of the bookstore. Edit with the doors open, and let in feedback. Don’t let your emotions reign, just say- “wow this is terrible I can do better!” Because you can do better.

A way to remember this is: Polish off the grease before you ride, bucko.

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I felt as if my mind was blowing up as I was reading this. This was really helpful! I have a question though.

If your character in the first chapter is so different from the same character in the 5th chapter, for example. Is that fine or too quick of a change?

I don’t know whether or not I’ve used these 7 keys (based on my uploaded snippets ON WordPress) but I’ll have to keep them in mind for any future chapters. Thanks again! 😊

Good question!

I don’t think it’s too fast, but it could be. Each character moves at their own pace, and that means that some change in a page while others change only after seven novels. This is up to them, and not so much up to you.

A good place to consider is to ask yourself “where is my character along the story circle?”
I mention the story circle often but haven’t written a blog about it because someone did it so well that I usually defer to them.
Here’s a link.

Now while you’re editing try to see if your character has jumped from one bit of the circle to another (see if they’ve skipped a step). If this is true they won’t feel compelling to your reader and they may have changed too fast.

But there are plenty of books where change happens rapidly- a good one is the Tao Series, where a fat IT guy becomes a stocky supersoldier faster than most stories normally progress. I talk about it in the first Reviewniverse here
https://abkstories.com/2019/01/17/the-tao-series-in-reviewniverse/

I hope this super long comment helps.

Keep writing, my friend.

Thanks a lot! This has helped greatly. I re-read and found out that I should re-write the whole chapter since it did not flow so smoothly with the rest of the events. Deeply appreciated and hope you do well on your upcoming exam! 😊

Hey! I just wanted to notify you of this: I nominated you for the Liebster (Lobster) blogger award. You can check out everything on my blog 😊

About the podcast, have you done any videos that I missed? And also, what is the minimum word count of a writing to be criticised?

Oh thank you so much!

I have a lot of catching up to do I’ll be making response posts for tomorrow maybe after my last exam.

It can’t take longer than 10 minutes to read. because of finals I’ve been backed up with my website work so you haven’t missed anything!! My crew is going home for the summer though so we might get one more recording before I start a different podcast. I would love to review your work, critiques are the best way for us to grow as writers because we get the opportunity to hear someone say, “Hey I like what you have here, but this part doesn’t work for me so take a second look”. I feel that modern writers aren’t told this enough and I’m so happy to hear you’d be interested!!

Thanks again, I’ll be sure to make a post :3

Take your time, really. I hope you do well in your exams because so far…my exams suck big time 😂 I don’t need to know if the genes are phenotype of genotype 😐

Although I’m a bit hesitant…not in fear of criticism (I don’t mind that) just generally…Ah fine 😅

(The chapter is probably in the middle of the book, so do I need to send the chapter before it since they’re connected?)

Tell me what you think!

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