Edit Your Writing – Here’s How!

By Danielle Simone

Editing your writing.

Cut. Cut. Cut. New writers think it never ends, and in reality it never does. But it does get a bit easier. Writing for publication requires thorough editing of your work. Sometimes having another person critique your writing, particularly as a new writer, guides you to learn what to look for and how thoroughly you need to reach into your story or article to properly perfect it for sale.

trails of natureHere are five points to consider:

-punctuation; too many commas can tire and confuse your reader.
-spelling; spellchecker works, but a good dictionary is your new best friend.

 

 

-grammar; misplaced phrases can take your reader away from your plot.
-point of view/voice; learn which point of view best suits your style and story.
-flow; keep your reader interested without unneeded detail.

Whatever your genre, regardless of your audience, editing your work takes your writing to market on the fast track with successful returns for your efforts.

Louis Lamour was unique among famous writers for his lack of editing. But readers are generally intolerant of writing that repeats, that bogs down with unnecessary details, that contains misspelled words or that changes point of view too often. A reader doesn’t enjoy having to backtrack to figure out who did what or who is talking. Neither do they want to waste time attempting to figure out the idea or point of your article or essay.

-Be succinct; keep the flow of your story even.
-Use a point of view that doesn’t confuse the reader.
-Keep your sentence length fairly short or balance out your paragraphs with a combination of short and long sentences.
-Make sure you double check your thesaurus when using tricky words like mail and male.
-Though we all enjoyed e. e. cummings and the antics he created with archie and mahitabel, that level of talent, which forgives the use of correct punctuation is rare.

As your efforts with editing for publication improve, so will the quality and salability of your writing. Cut those fluffy words till it hurts; triple check the spellchecker; keep the reader flowing through your sentences like warm butter on a hot bun; make sure your dialogue is real and believable; keep your reader from tripping over too many commas. Only then will you successfully publish and enjoy your name in print.

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