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Supporting Writers

An Editor’s Golden Touch

from Sharon Ledwith

Do you want to know how to make your manuscript stronger? Polished? Close to publication? Psst…I can help with that. Correction—my former editor, Kathy Teel, can help with that. The following advice is gold to writers seasoned or new. Read on…

  • The word “as” is not your friend. It is almost never your best choice. In any MS, find all occurrences of it and cut at least half. This is especially true when it occurs near a dialogue tag.
  • You don’t need both an action tag and a dialogue tag. For example: Jojo sneered at him, saying, “That was helpful.” Those should look like this: Jojo sneered. “That was helpful.” (This is where many of those words were cut)
  • Dialogue tags go after the first clause in the dialogue, not at the end, unless it’s a short bit of dialogue and we know…

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