Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of hearing Los Angeles writing coach, Elaine Ash, speak on the topic of "Self- Editing for Authors" at the monthly Sisters in Crime meeting. If you've never been to a Sisters in Crime meeting, and you're an aspiring crime writer living in the vicinity of their meeting place, the South Pasadena Library, I urge you to attend their free meetings, which always feature a riveting speaker.
Elaine Ash is an engaging speaker who shows up with a well organized and entertaining presentation that included a handout with insightful tips guaranteed to get any writer's motor running. The headings included:
- "Develop First - Everything Else Can Wait"
- "Get The Most Out of Your Writers' Group"
- "Too Many Characters"
- "Deconstructing Successful Novels for Structure"
- "The Feather Edit"
I can honestly say that writers should never trust themselves with "The Buck Stops Here" self-editing approach. To be truly successful, most writers need a specialist who can tip them off when the story isn't working, and guide them back on track.
Ash combine her prodigious analytic gifts with solid knowledge of screenwriting fundamentals (Hollywood may not have invented story structure, but they sure as heck have refined it). She even supplied an actor to read bits of passages to drive home points.
And one more thing:
I love the term "feather edit"? Sounds so easy, it makes me want to do one right this very minute.
For more info, including Elaine Ash's author bio, etc., check out her blog at:
Elaine Ash Edit: Author & Book News