Editing Advice

Hey, fellow bloggers!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted any writing advice and today I’m going to talk about the dreaded editing process.  Honestly, I feel like editing is like tearing your story apart and then piecing it back together into a better version.

Here’s three tips to improve your editing process.

1) Wait a while before reading your story.

This is a simple method that I have found very useful.  When you wait a few weeks or a month before re-reading your story it gives you a fresh perspective.   It gives you more of a first reader experience. You find more errors this way because, by the time that you come back to the story, you have mostly forgotten what you might have been trying to say.  Spelling errors will also become more apparent and even breaks in rhythm that you didn’t notice that your story had before.

2) Look for crutch or unnecessary words to omit.

Here’s a short list of words that writers often overuse:

Eyes, face, very, well, words ending in -ly, think, believe, grin, heart, smile, really, seem, sit, stand, feel, felt, had, have, words that end in -ing, started, began, there is/are, up, only, look, and see.  There are more, but these are just a few.

Also, try to omit excessive adverbs and adjectives.  Like if you have a sentence like this: The police siren wailed loudly… or The dark, dreary woods had a haunting, withering feel that caused my heart to stutter haltingly

Instead try:  The woods had a haunting feel to it that caused my heart to stutter.  This is a much simpler sentence that gets the point across quicker and without all the redundant adjectives and or adverbs.

Also just: The police siren wailed.   The word loudly is not necessary because your readers will assume that the siren is loud.  Because how else does a siren sound but loud.  They are certainly not quiet!

3)  Read your work out loud.

When I read my work out loud, I am able to catch so many mistakes.  This is because reading out loud feeds your brain the information in a new way, helping you catch errors that you never saw before.

One more thing to remember:  Editing is tough, but it pays off in the end!

Do you have any editing advice that you want to add?  If so, leave your thoughts in the comments.  I would love to hear them!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post!

~Nightsong

 

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