Thursday, September 15, 2011

Editing Exercise and Blog Awards

Editing can be a beast, but this writing editing exercise can make it a bit more exciting.  I'm calling it, The Chopper!  Follow the steps and enjoy the freedom that comes from detaching yourself from your writing!

The Chopper:

1.  Start with your manuscript for a picture book, article, or one chapter from a longer work.  Write down the total words.

2.  Cut the total words in half.  Yes, you read it half!  This is your target word count.  Write it down!

3.  Start chopping!  You will need to chop because just plucking a word here or there won't do it.  You can always add things back in if you feel like you've changed too much, but wait a few days.  Do you really need that description, that conversation, or that detail?  Remember your goal is to show as much as possible with as few words as necessary.  It's  a lot of fun to see how different your work can be when it's forced down to half the original length.  It's also good practice to help train yourself to be able to say more with less!

Let me know how it goes!  I'd love to cheer for you!

In other news...

I want to shout out congratulations to Jo and Dawn for taking on the 50-Word Challenge last week!  I totally enjoyed their stories!  If anyone else wants to try it (just for fun!), feel free--I rarely close comments!

And now, for some awards!

Last week I received two blogging awards!  Stuff like this brings out all sorts of silly grins--it brightens my day and makes me want to learn how to turn cartwheels!  I am delighted to pass them on, too!

First, thank you Abby at Something To Write About for the 7 x 7 Award!  Her blog is full of wonderful posts related to writing and things that might interest writers. 

For this award, I choose a blog post for each of seven, here you go! 

MOST BEAUTIFUL:  Beating a Fear of Success 

MOST HELPFUL:  Writers, How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

MOST POPULAR:  eReaders For Kids

MOST CONTROVERSIAL:   Lessons/Morals in Picture Books


MOST UNDERRATED:  What Do Kids Read?


I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs: 
The Writing Nut
Wavy Lines
Kelly Polark

Next, thank you to Elizabeth at Elizabeth Anne Writes for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Elizabeth writes in many genres and has lots of information for writers on her blog! 

For this award I tell you seven things about myself!  So, here you go:

1.  I signed up to run a half-marathon in February on the beach!  Woo hoo! 

2.  I love to try new things...especially food!  This week, I've tried three new recipes and loved them all...Mmmm!

3.  I'm slightly germaphobic.  I used to be extremely germaphobic, but then I had a little boy who seems to desperately want to cure me. 

4.  I have a small in-home daycare.

5.  I'm a serious science nerd.  College only encouraged me. 

6.  My favorite places in China are probably gardens, Yellow Mountain, and the Great Wall area.  It's no coincidence that they're all outdoors.

7.  Laughing makes me happy.  Life is funny.  It feels good to laugh about it.

Well, there you have it!  I'm going to pass this award on to the following bloggers: 
 (note: Original Versatile Blogger Rules say to pass this on to 15 others...but, since I'm versatile, I'm passing it on to 5!)

Lauren Boyd
Imagine Today
The Restless Writer
Of Thoughts and Words
Children's Books Heal


Kelly Polark said...

Laughing makes me happy, too!
Thank you so much for the award!! :)

Laura Marcella said...

Congrats on your awards, Carla! Thank you for passing one on to me! :) What a fun award. It'll be interesting going through some of my old posts!

I love running on the beach! Good luck and have fun training for the half-marathon!

Sarah P. said...

Congrats on both of your awards and thank you so much for passing one on to me! It cracked me up that you, being versatile, made an amendment to the rules to pass it on to 5 instead of 15. I like how you think. :)

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hey, Carla! Thank you so much for choosing me for The Versatile Blogger award! Of all the wonderful blogs out there, I am humbled and honored (and flattered) that you chose mine!

I look forward to spending some time this evening checking out the other blogs that you have awarded, as well as displaying my award on my blog!

Thanks again so much! See you soon!

nutschell said...

Thanks so much for the award! How awesome that I got one, just when i was getting back into the blogosphere. :D What a great welcome back gift this is. Thanks again!

Abby said...

I love this Carla! And congrats on all the awards! *yay* I am really liking the editing exercise. It's true. Chopping needs to happen. I always like to sit on my MS awhile and see what I think after. You can think so much clearer once you've had some time away from the project.

Carla said...

Kelly, Laughter really is so healthy! I'm glad you enjoy it too! ;)

Thanks, Laura! I think I'm just getting to a point where I'm enjoying the training and not just doing it to get it done! I can't wait for the beach in February!

Thanks, Sarah! I wish I could take credit for the original idea, but I have seen it done before! Still, I'm quite versatile myself!

Hi Lauren! One of my favorite things about awards like this is getting to know other bloggers better--I can't wait to see what you post!

Welcome back, Nutschell! It's great to see you again!

Thanks, Abby! Chopping can be a lot of fun! And I agree--time does amazing things for a writer's perspective!


Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Ooooh, a fellow chopper. I'm all about shorter stories.

And congrats on your awards :) New Follower

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

woot woot! Thank you Carla for the award!! :)

kmckendry said...

Wow thanks so much for the award! Yeah. I love the idea of The Chopper! I'm going to use that ASAP. :)

Carla said...

Small Town Shelly Brown, I agree--it's so much easier to read a short story!

Ms Saba, I can't wait to read yours!

Kmckendry, Have fun with it!


Charmaine Clancy said...

Wonderful links to check out - thanks :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Gail Shepherd said...

What a wonderful blog; I'm so happy to have discovered you. This cutting/revision exercise is so helpful, as are the many, many links you've posted here. Thank you and congrats on your award!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Congrats on your awards! The Chopper sounds like a very good exercise - I will have to give it a try on some of my picture books mss. I was tempted to do your 50 word challenge - it looked like so much fun - but I haven't had time to work on it. Maybe eventually.... :)

Carla said...

Charmaine, They're all awesome blogs!

Gail, I'm so glad you stopped by! This particular exercise can be a lot of fun!

Susanna, Sometimes when I'm running I make up 50- and 10- word's amazing how engaging it can be!


Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Nice to "meet" you, thanks to these blog awards. Congratulations on them, by the way. : )

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