Sunday, August 22, 2010
Prize Winner and Editing Our Work
We edit our writing for several reasons: To check for typos; to eliminate unnecessary words and phrases; and to tighten writing and increase the pace. When I worked for a newspaper, we were not allowed to proof our own final work. We knew what we meant to say, which made catching errors difficult. Writers don't have co-workers helping read final drafts. We do have critique partners, friends, and family members who can help read our final draft.
Eliminating unnecessary words. A writer friend needed to cut words to meet her publisher's word count. Deleting unnecessary conjunctions, "the," and "that" reduced her word count sufficiently. For instance, "The man who stood on the deck" would be "He stood on deck." Connected prepositional phrases can create an unwieldy sentence. For instance, "He stood on the deck in the dark with the fog that was around him" could be "Swirling fog surrounded him on the dark deck." Better to eliminate the final prepositional phrase too, but I'm in a hurry this morning or I'll be late for church. LOL
Tightening text by rewriting and deleting are well worth our time. Tighter text equals faster pace. Fast pace keeps readers engaged.
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