Eight Useful Tips on How to Edit Your Writing
by Lois Weldon
What makes a great writer stand out among the average ones is the way the editing is done. There would be no problem on the editing part if you are working for a known magazine or publishing company. But if what you are doing is your original article, blog, or your first novel ever; you have to do each and every step including the editing part on your own.
It is not easy to edit one’s own work. There is a big chance that you will not bother to continue editing because you doing it or simply because you do not have enough time to spend for it. The below tips will help you release your inner editing skills.
Do not bother to do the editing process while writing
This tip is always being said by almost all of the great writers internationally however, a lot of writers fail to follow this though. There is nothing wrong on short stops to correct some misspelled words or sentences with grammatical errors but do not delay your work just to erase those completely written sentences and paragraphs.
Give writing a certain slot on your schedule
Do not embed your writing time in another task that you need to accomplish. A specific time plus the allowance should be set for writing. This will give you enough time to do brainstorming for great ideas to input to your work, do read and check, and ample time for editing. If you are going to edit a whole novel, allot at least a week or two for editing as it requires more time, keen eye, and alert mind to see what needs to be corrected or if there is anything that needs to be added, changed, or deleted.
Save and open your work in a format that is similar or closest to what the reader will see
This tip is a big help for you to easily spot what needs to be corrected or changed in your work. If you want to check a blog that you have written, try to post it in a dummy blogging site account (yes, you can try to create one for this) for you to see how your work will look like to the blog fanatics. If what you want to check is a newsletter, try to send it in your own email and see what it looks like. This way, you will be able to see those errors that seemed to be just right when you were checking the work in draft format.
Structure and Content should always be checked first
More often than not, writers focus on correcting each and every sentence and get surprised to see their works cut out by 50% of the words. It is wiser to look at your work’s overview. Check out if the paragraph are being placed in a proper sequence or if a paragraph needs to be deleted as it already reveals the whole idea of your work.
Reduce your words by 10%
Over writing can be compared to talking nonsense. As you do the writing part, there are times that you get carried away and then just type in grammatically correct but obviously unnecessary words. Use a word counter which can be easily reached, get the total number of words in your work, do the math to eliminate 10% from it, then go and find redundant and useless words from your work.
Use a virtual and physical spell check
Checking for misspelled words in Word or other applications is very easy but it also benefits a writer to do spell check manually for practicing purposes to avoid committing the same mistake in the future.
Read from the last paragraph up to the first one or read it slowly
Like verbal speaking, it will help you get rid of being too familiar on what you are saying, which is the main component of being unable to see what is wrong.
Have your work seen!
You have done enough with your work and now is the perfect time for the world to be amazed and inspired by the product of your hard work.
Lois Weldon is a writer. She moved from Liverpool to London with her family. Loves writing helpful articles for students. She is a great Star Wars fan.