Importance of self-editing
When you review your work, Zackheim, said, keep it organic. Look for a steady connection of thoughts, the easy movement of characters and the continuity of flow. Take a page of your writing and read it aloud, this is the best way to check for commas, if you read the comma, it should be there. Perry added that reading aloud helps find unintentional rhymes and rhythms, and set-ups where you inform the reader too much. Find what is broken, typically the where and when, and fix it. Circle adverbs and adjectives, 95% of them can be removed. Remember, the best description is that which keeps the flow of the story moving, not the description itself.
Anne Perry and Victoria Zackheim were on tour in April 2014 promoting their latest books. They spent over three hours mentoring writers at the California Writers Club, Apple Valley branch. Their focus was on how to approach writing projects. Zackheim is an experienced editor and an author specializing in memoir and personal essays. Anne Perry is recognized as one of the world’s top 100 masters of crime and her series of detective novels are set in historical fiction.