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Topic of the Week: The Craft of Writing November 15, 2009

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in fiction, weekly topics.
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Writing is more than just lining up words on a page in the attempt to convey an idea, reveal a fact or tell a story. Good writing is more than just grammatically perfect sentences one after another. Writers worth their ink know that behind every good book is great editing. The editing process begins with the writer. Some writers self-edit as they compose, while others concentrate on the flow and concept as they complete their manuscripts. No matter their writing habits and preferences, the successful writer knows that writing needs editing and it begins with oneself. This week in LitChat we’ll discuss the craft of writing and self-editing.


Renni Browne

On Friday, November 20, Renni Browne joins us as guest host of LitChat. Renni is co-author (with Dave King) of the writing handbook, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. There are many good books on the writing craft, but few tackle the nuts and bolts of what to cut, what to keep, and how to make it better.

Renni has edited fiction and nonfiction at several prestigious publishing houses, including a stint as senior editor at William Morrow. Citing a lack of time to effectively edit the titles she acquired, Renni left mainstream publishing in 1979 and founded The Editorial Department in 1980.

In 1991 she and Dave King wrote Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, now in its fifth printing and second edition from HarperCollins. She has written book reviews and magazine articles and appeared on NPR.LitChat-Self-Editing

Over the years Renni has given lectures, workshops, and seminars around the country on self-editing, dialogue, getting published, and other topics of interest to writers. She’s originally from Charlotte, NC, and now lives in Asheville with two cats. Hobbies include old-time music festivals, walks in the mountains, and reading fiction. She especially enjoys Elizabeth George’s and Lee Smith’s fiction.

Renni will be tweeting during LitChat as @EditorialDept.