Self Editing for Fiction writers was originally published in 1993. Since then, countless authors, educators, and writing professionals have used the book to improve their craft and fine tune their writing.
In the tradition of Reading Rainbow’s “But don’t take our word for it,” segments, we share a few of their impressions and reviews here.
“When I joined the fine editors here at The Blood-Red Pencil, Dani asked me to review editing books. Since then, I’ve been wading through different books, looking for one I could both recommend and use for my own editing. After many months of disappointing starts, I found one: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.”
“Although it’s a small book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a comprehensive reference guide. Browne and King do an excellent job of covering all the bases, and there are chapters on character development, point of view, monologue, dialogue mechanics (an area where I need work), voice, and sophistication. I learned a lot. Who would have thought that using “as” or “-ing” is a bad thing? Or that the use of too many italics or exclamation marks is a no-no?”
“You could read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers straight through, you could read it and work the exercises, or you could skip around and do or not do the exercises. At 279 pages in trade paperback size, it won’t make a very good doorstop. It cries out for you to use it and wear it out. Make it a permanent resident of your handiest reference shelf.”
“To grow as a writer and editor, find the method that works for you. There are a number of books designed to help writers develop their editing and revision skills. One of the best, “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by editors Renni Browne and Dave King, is an inexpensive softcover filled with no-nonsense advice and practical exercises.”
“I will keep coming back to this book again and again. If you want to be a professional writer, you need Self Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King. Get the second edition. There’s even more great information in it. This book really does help you ‘edit yourself into print.’”
“The book shares a variety of tricks to help you add sophistication to your writing, while avoiding the taboos that brand you a novice. Applying these hints will transform your manuscript. After almost a decade and a half in print this book is still a current and essential resource for writers preparing their fiction for submission.”
“It’s an amazing book. No rules laid down without explanation – this book is all about teaching you to understand your writing. Why things work, why things don’t, and most importantly, how to fix things. The suggestions come with concrete strategies and examples, rather than sweeping (empty) statements.”