Wednesday Writing: the Writing on the Wall

When I get home today my editor’s second edits should be waiting in my mailbox for me. Needless to say, my thoughts today are mostly circling obsessively around the editing process. So, I thought I’d share one of my favorite editing tips: see the writing on the wall.

It may look strange, but it really helps.

No, really, that’s a tip. Print out your whole MSS (“tiny font! two-to-a-page!” says the Lorax) and tape it to your wall. Then grab a variety pack of highlighters and get to work color-coding sections. Use the colors to highlight (ha!) anything you’re worried about balancing across the MSS- if you have different POVs, have a color for each character. Or, see how much time you spend in flashback versus current action. For GOLDEN BOY, I needed to balance exciting scenes against lyrical descriptions. You can use this for pretty much anything: imbalances will literally leap off the page at you and then you can go about fixing them. Hope this helps. Happy editing everyone!

About Tara Sullivan

Author of GOLDEN BOY (2013), THE BITTER SIDE OF SWEET (2016), and TREASURE OF THE WORLD (2021). Published by Penguin Books for Young Readers Find out more at Or, follow me on Twitter: @SullivanStories
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