Thoughts on Editing

I’ve read countless books on editing during my years writing. I’ve enjoyed guides on grammar, structure, technique and style. Yet, I think the most beneficial steps a writer can take are much simpler and easier to understand. The idea that editing is a secondary concern is false. Editing is just as important to a manuscript as the manuscript. Every list from every editor or agent which lists the top complaints are virtually identical. Spelling, inconsistencies and issues such as a boring start or too much passive voice.

Few people appreciate what it requires to edit over 90K words. Sadly, many of these guides do not help. For those of us who aren’t particularly helped by in-depth exploration, here’s a tip on editing:

Edit one sentence at a time.

There, that’s it. Just look at one sentence, not a clump of them. Once you’ve inspected each sentence, look at the group as a paragraph. If the paragraph “flows,” it’s fine. If it’s grammatically correct and keeps the pace, don’t touch it any longer.

Thoughts on writing today: worry less with technicalities and focus as a reader would.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Editing

  • April 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm
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    The thought of editing 90,000 ms is a little scary. I guess thinking of it as one sentence at a time makes it feel a littlemore manageable.

    Reply
    • April 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm
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      Hi, Sonia. Thanks for visiting. It is very scary. I have one waiting on me that’s near 100K and I’m dreading it. Luckily, I have another one set to be edited prior to that, so I have a little bit of time before trudging up that mountain.

      Reply
  • March 19, 2012 at 8:47 am
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    I usually do not leave a response, however I read a bunch of responses on this page Appalachia Obscura » Blog Archive » Thoughts on Editing. I actually do have some questions for you if it’s allright. Is it simply me or does it appear like some of the responses look like they are left by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of your shared sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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  • April 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm
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    Very interesting subject , appreciate it for posting . “The great leaders have always stage-managed their effects.” by Charles De Gaulle.

    Reply
  • May 8, 2012 at 8:29 am
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    Reply

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