Thursday, January 18, 2018

Edit Until...

Writing is the easy part. You sit at a computer or pull out your journal and spew your thoughts. But if you want to share or publish your writing, editing is necessary. Blog posts can get away with a little less work, but articles take thought. 

When I edit something I've thrown together, I first try to decide where I can go with it. It has to serve a purpose. It has to ask and answer a question.

Then there has to be flow. The sequence has to make sense. 

That being said, I've gone back over some things I've written and published and much later see it could have flowed better. In most cases, the piece could have less words.

Cut Words

Cutting unnecessary words is an important edit. When I write eBooks, not only do I cut the unnecessary words I notice, I go to lists I've saved that professional editors say to cut (you can find lists online). I do a word search on various words or phrases and cut down drastically.

Nevertheless, time is needed between edits even if it is simply minutes. I will edit an article, leave it to work on another, and return to it later. I do this on and off until I can read an article through without making a change. Then I know it's ready. 

Of course, the perfectionist in most writers sees more to change. When this becomes problematic, I just call it quits. I say it's good enough, and I send it to the editors. 

Finding Words for Your Story

I usually write non-fiction. In non-fiction, especially articles for web content, we need to write concisely. That means, we don'...