Advice on Writing a Book from 5 Famous American Authors

The best advice on writing a book comes from those who
have written books that resonated with multiple generations. It’s difficult to
remember that these authors were not always infallible masters of the written
word, but writers who struggled as much as every other writer, and learned how
to get the most out of themselves. 

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Limits of Self-Editing

You know your book best, so why shouldn’t you edit it yourself? Believe it or not, sometimes knowing your book too well can prevent you from actually seeing what’s there. 

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Professional Editors vs Friends

You have a friend who reads constantly, so why shouldn’t he edit your manuscript? What’s the difference between him and a professional editor? They both read. They’re both articulate. 

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A Guide to Copyediting Marks

 The first time you receive your copyedited manuscript, it can be intimidating. What do these weird marks strewn all over my beautifully typed pages mean?

Use the guide below as a reference for these mysterious copyediting marks.

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That’s a Beautiful Sentence. Cut it.

 As Georges Simenon edited his work, if he came across an especially beautiful sentence, he did something very odd. He cut it. “Every time I find such a thing in one of my novels it is to be cut.”

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Don’t Overuse Descriptors

 A common pitfall of writing is the overuse of descriptors. When adjectives and adverbs are used too liberally, it slows down the pace of the narrative. If there’s a true excess of descriptors (as there is in the example that follows), it can even prevent the reader from easily grasping the meaning of a sentence.

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