Friday, September 16, 2016
#FridayReads : Sharpen Your Editing Skills with Noah Lukeman
Noah Lukeman started as an editor for a major publishing company before becoming a literary agent. He is often a guest speaker on topics related to writing and publishing. The Plot Thickens and The First Five Pages are my favourites of his writing craft and editing books.
Working through The Plot Thickens is most valuable after fully completing a first draft, because we learn best from our own mistakes, and those going for the second round will have many lightbulb moments ahead of the revision or rewrite.
The Plot Thickens starts by re-developing the characters in your work and how the character changes through the book. Lukeman provides hundreds of questions to consider across every facet of a character. Not every question or topic will apply to every character, but his prompts are bound to help you develop extra information about your character that you can use in your work.
As you work through the questions, take each insight back to the plot of your book and consider how you can use the character traits you’ve uncovered to manipulate the plot. These writing chapters end in exercises to help you work through the points covered. If you’re battling for ideas, these questions and exercises will help to generate some and consolidate the ideas you do have into workable plots.
It is worth remembering that Lukeman is not a writer himself, but this fact is only noticeable in a few of his comments. It is his experience on the reading, editing, and selling ends of the publishing chain that is of real value in his books.
Review by Elle Carter Neal