Book Review: Words’ Worth, by Jane Riddell


Independent authors often don’t realize that they need help with self-editing. While using Strunk and White’s Elements of Style is the standard for syntax and grammar, there’s more to self-editing that the nuts and bolts.  The independent author, while rereading their chef d’oeuvre, may not notice things like using passive voice too often, using stilted dialog and a number of other simple rules.

Enter Words’ Worth: a Fiction Writer’s Guide to Serious Editing, Jane Riddell’s short, quick list of typical flubs that can turn a great idea into a mediocre book.  Her suggestion is to make a list from her categories that you identify as your typical sub-par writing habits, and make a checklist to use when rewriting.  I certainly picked up a few tips when I read Words’ Worth.

The major topics, Overview Editing and Line-by-Line Editing, are broken down into smaller, bit-sized pieces.  The author also includes a nice bibliography that offers a number of more in-depth books on the subject of good writing or editing.

If someone is unable to work with a good proofreader or editor, I highly recommend this guide to self-editing.

Words'Worth: a fiction writer's guide to serious editing

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link



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