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Monday, February 27, 2012

A 15 Minute Editing Lesson

What if you could change Episode I of Star Wars? Wouldn't that be nice?

As it turns out, someone decided to sit down and see if they could turn the big screen mess into something resembling a good story. After I stopped laughing (because it was that awesome) I started wondering if this guy was free to do a novel critique. All of my early novels look like Episode I in the first draft.

Honestly, most rough drafts look like this. Authors throw everything at the page just to see what sticks. Editing keeps books and movies from becoming junkyards of the imagination. With a little but of editing, and the ruthless ability to kill your darlings, even the worst drafts can become good stories.


Did you see what he did there? Let's review the major points...

1) Pick one main character but develop all of them.

2) Get the audience emotionally invested in the characters before threatening them.

3) Stick to established universal truths (laws of magic, the Force, or whatever)

4) Streamline your action

5) Make your antagonist interesting and keep always up the ante

6) Make the story believable. Teen falls in love with grade schooler is just creepy, but teen and other teen falling in love? See, that I can believe.


  1. Wow, how do I get him in my critique group? He is utterly amazing (and funny)

  2. I'd hire him to do a content edit for me. He verbalizes the problems with balance very well. Lucas should have hired him.