14 May, 2010

edward scissorhands was an editor

Cut here

Townsville’s literary scene is shaping up well. Workshops and events all over the calendar – and this is one you won’t want to miss. Shelley Kenigsberg will be at Thuringowa Central library on Saturday 29 May with her workshop The Kindest Cut: Editing for Writers. Fiction and non-fiction writers at any stage of development should book in now through QWC because your work’s going to come out looking shapelier. More balanced.

I have the impression from Shelley’s work that a good editor is like an author’s inner Edward Scissorhands. The Ed. works with the author to shape, to cut, to build, to capture a rhythm, to ensure the emergence of the true work. They realize a vision together – and that’s a win for readers because they don’t have to chew through a tangle of redundant words, images and characters to get to the meat.

Every word its place. In Shelley’s workshop writers will examine elements such as writing style and word choice, voice, viewpoint, dialogue, beginnings, ends and middles, flow, balance and structure. Shelley freelances, and is also owner of SK Publishing and coordinator of the Macleay College Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing. She has developed and presented courses for editors globally. She even edits in paradise!

Some of us have a few squiggles and a bit of knowledge in our repertoire to handle copy editing – fixing grammar, spelling and semantics errors. Structural editing? It can make a book fly! And readers certainly notice if the editing hasn’t been much chop. Shelley quotes Le Guin quoting Chekhov when she advocates cutting out your first three pages to find where your story really begins. I’m still editing my 22ish line poem about Brisbane after fabulous structural editing advice from Julie Beveridge. Editing’s a journey.

If you’re ready to take that journey, book through QWC for the Townsville workshop.

Develop your passion - check out the Society of Editors and pop The Style Manual in your pocket.

And don’t be shy. If you go to Shelley’s workshop – tell me how amazing your work is post-edit.

For this post I'm guest blogging for QWC - check out the Empty Page Blog

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