The Art of Wordsmithing, Part 1

Editing_SymbolsI have a friend who recently published his first novel on He had a really a great story.

Unfortunately however, his book did not sell very well. It also did not get many reviews. Writers certainly know that there are no guarantees when you publish a book. There is always a very good chance that it will simply not catch on.

However, there are many steps a serious writer can take to better their chances. Here is one …

I had ordered a copy of my friend’s book from Amazon, planning to do a book review on my blog. Unfortunately, when I tried to read it … I found a lot problems.  Those problems included grammar, phrasing, poor word choice, awkward sentence structure, passive voice, etc. I could not get past the second chapter. One thing my friend could have done to  increase his chances of success was to have somebody edit his book.


As good as his story line was, the novel was very painful to read because of some of the issues mentioned above. How can you get positive reviews on Amazon if your readers cannot even finish your book?

I have been through this process myself. An editor would have caught those problems and helped him correct them.  That would have made his book a lot more readable.

What you have to try to understand is that there are very good reasons for these “archaic” rules of grammar. After all, we are not Tweeting here!

Good word choice, proper sentence structure, proper punctuation, an active voice … all help to build the excitement or tension in the your story.  The tension builds, there is a climax. The writer then creates  a calm period where the reader recovers … and then it all starts again.  Good writing techniques are much more than just old-fashioned grammar rules they taught in school once upon a time. They actually make writing readable and are vital keys for getting and keeping your reader’s attention,. They also help build the tension and create the periods of calm. Write a great action scene in a passive voice and the reader yawns!  Not good!

It is very hard to be objective and edit your own work. Believe me, I know!  I have been there and done that.  While it can be scary to let somebody else critique your work, a good editor can really help put the polishing touches on a writer’s work. And, that may be the difference between someone reading your work and enjoying it, maybe even reviewing it online and recommending it to a friend  … or simply putting it down.

I decided not to review my friend’s novel.

More to follow!

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