Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A to Z Challenge: X is for Xtras

Before I get to A to Z, the blog tour for my new release, The Botanist, is currently going on. Check out one of my first reviews over at JC's Book Haven. Thanks!
Welcome to April. With its customary showers comes the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For those who are unfamiliar with it:
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day. (Source) 
The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE 

My theme this year is EDITING

I'll be posting practical advice for editing any story, novel, or other piece of writing. Editing is something most authors struggle with, and after years of doing my own as well as that of others, I have a pretty good eye for what needs work. I'll be doing short posts on editing topics and (hopefully) dispensing simple, valuable advice to help everyone out there self-edit.

X is for Xtras

Yeah there really isn't any editing topics that start with X. Unfortunately. I thought about talking about Xtra Words, but I think I've covered that with other topics.

So basically I have two things to say about Xtras.

1) Cut anything extra in your writing. Every word you set down should be purposeful and used to accomplish your character's arc, your plot, your themes, etc. Don't leave in extra words, lines, or even scenes, just because they're cool. Cut all your Xtras.

2) Every writer is different. All of us have our own unique Xtras, crutches, weaknesses, and strengths. Focus on your own extras. Figure out what your weaknesses are, and make sure to cut, or strengthen them. Also focus on what you do well, and make sure to do that. If you're awesome at writing action scenes, don't shy away from that. Exploit your own Xtras to be the best writer you can be! 

What are your Xtras?


  1. Extra spaces after a period. When I learned to type, it was standard procedure to add two spaces after a period. In the modern day and with True Type fonts, it's become standard practice to use just one space. But I often still add 2 spaces out of habit (my typing teacher really drilled it in). I usually have to run a "Find and replace" on my file after I'm finished to remove double spaces.

    1. I was the same way! All through college that got drilled into me. I've actually trained myself to only use one space now, but it took a long time. :D I feel ya!

  2. Sometimes less is more. When you cut out and have less redundant words, you have more easier piece to read. But true, whatever is signature to a writer need not be cut. If using superfluous words is your thing, go for it.

    1. Personally, I think less is always more, but there IS something to be said of signatures. :D Thanks Jeffrey!

  3. Good point that we all have our strengths and need to exploit them.