E … is for edit, edit, edit

E[1]   is for edit. edit, edit, and edit again. We as writers, are all aiming for one thing when we edit our work; excellence. Okay, we may not reach that elusive goal, but we owe it to ourselves, and our readers, to strive for it.

My method isn’t going to suit everybody, but it works for me. Consider the document referred to in the following guide to  be a short story.

1. I write the entire document, from beginning to end as rapidly as possible, including excessive imagery, excess adjectives, bad grammar and scant regard for punctuation. I must get the idea out of my head onto the screen (or paper).

2. I spend a little time afterwards, reading it through to see if I’ve got the best intro. In the majority of cases, the ‘intro’ is somewhere later within the story, just waiting for me to discover it. The intro must have action, and I aim to have a hook within the first 30 words.

3. I save the document, and ignore it for a few days.

4. I open it again and read it through, and then deal with the excess elements, including words or whole sentences, that are not taking the story forward.

5. I print it out, then read it aloud and edit with a red pen.

6. Using the red pen edit, I amend the document on screen, save it, and leave it.

7. I wait at least a couple of days, or longer if possible and then get it out again, but this time, I do a diagnostic check with my punctuation and grammar programme.

8. I read it aloud, and if I’m happy with it, I publish it.

9. If it’s a competition entry, I double-check the Rules of Entry. I check that I’ve met all the criteria; word count, spacing, cover page, personal details, closing date, and so on.

10. I send the completed document / entry fee and get on with another project.

Novel writing is a different discipline.

I adapt my editing techniques to work on individual chapters of my novels. As a rule, I completely re-write my novels at least five times. Less than five drafts before publishing a novel equals laziness, and a lack of respect for the reader. The longer break that can be left between drafts, the better the end product will be.   What the F … ? You’ll find out tomorrow.

***

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

DALE WRITES

Enjoy The Visit

Author Theresa Jacobs

Blog Stories Books

Writing to be Read

Author's Blog - Book Reviews, Author Profiles and Reflections on Writing

Tom Benson - Artist

Before there was photography ...

Rebecca Bryn

Author and artist

Sarah Stuart - Romantic Suspense

Award-winning writing that pushes the boundaries

Frank Parker's author site

A Septuagenarian's ramblings

Lucinda E. Clarke - Author

Adventures in Africa and other places

Andrew Updegrove: Tales of Adversego

One author's exploration of the evolving self-publishing labyrinth

authordesignstudio's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Ra Winter Writer

Native American Romance Writer, Urban lit, Romance, Fantasy

Indie Lifer

News and rants on publishing, health, and spiritual stuff.

Write-Escape

Reviews & More

authorsinterviews

My interviews with many authors

The Quill Pen Writes

Latest work releases, preview cover designs and reviews of other authors

Lesley Hayes

The Lesley Hayes Blog

The Last Krystallos

Its those silly dreams that keep us alive...

lucinda E Clarke

My blog - My books - and other interesting stuff about my adventures

Eric Lahti

Livin' the Henchlife

Nikki McDonagh - author and photographer

A look at writing, publishing and photography

Vagina Antics

A sometimes sweet, always naughty sex blog

pennyluker

fiction and other writing

shehanne moore

Smexy Historical Romance

Maxpower's Blog

Books and writing

Indie author support & Discussion

We welcome readers and writers and aim to provide a wide selection of reading and resource material

Princess of Dragons

A world of imagination, writing and dragons

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

Writing - Beginning and Beyond

Where I've been, where I'm at, and where I want to go with writing...

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: