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Editing Sweets

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Jano View Drop Down
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alias author Jan Hawke

Joined: 27 Dec 2008
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Editing Sweets
    Posted: 10 Jul 2014 at 10:25pm
Editing Suiteweets...


No matter how good a writer you are, there's always one thing that you should never do yourself - and that one thing is EDITING!

Sure, you can do the spell and grammar check stuff and even some of the aesthetics, like making sure you're not saying something too many times, or repeating words like a demented parrot, but there'll always be something you miss, even if you don't miss much.
The reason for this is quite simple - you know what you've written and expect it to be there. You can even read it's there, but it doesn't follow that it actually IS there - you just think it is...

On this thread feel free to talk about how great editing can save your prose not to mention your blushes, whether that's as an editor, or as a writer.
If you can give us some tips as well then even better! Star
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one
will do ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Jano View Drop Down
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alias author Jan Hawke

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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2014 at 10:40pm
To kick things off here's a link to a great blog article by Dave Bricker, publishing guru extraordinaire on Encouragement for Those On The Path to Better Writing. Dave's blog is a great place for all kinds of tips on the writing and publishing world, so I'd also encourage you to have a little look around while you're over there as there's plenty of food for thought on all kinds of writerly topics. Smile

For those who're too traumatised to click - here's most of the article

Originally posted by Dave Bricker

Learning to write well is like learn­ing to play an instru­ment; it requires prac­tice, deter­mi­na­tion, and a song inside that wants to express itself. Though you’ve been writ­ing and speak­ing your entire life, if you’ve never gone through the process of draft­ing and edit­ing a nar­ra­tive, you’re at the begin­ning of the long steep path to writ­ing well.

If you can com­mu­ni­cate flu­idly and flu­ently on a day-to-day basis, speak elo­quently at meet­ings, and orga­nize emails into cohe­sive para­graphs, it’s no stretch to imag­ine you’re ready to “sit down and ham­mer out a book.” But when your edi­tor takes your “fine work” and blood­ies it up with red ink, it’s just as easy easy to feel dis­cour­aged. All this time I thought I was a good writer! Instead I’ve been adver­tis­ing how incom­pe­tent I am with every email and office memo.

Effective sto­ry­tellers bring more than great sto­ries to the table. You can learn to become a good writer—and your exist­ing skills will help you. But pac­ing, man­ag­ing dia­logue, avoid­ing clichés, and struc­tur­ing sen­tences cre­atively are not skills that get used every day in the world of commerce.

How can you push for­ward with­out get­ting discouraged?

  • Be patient with your­self; it’s called a “rough draft” for a reason.
  • Use soft­ware tools like AutoCrit.com to help you see style errors and find dupli­cate words.
  • Work with a writ­ing group. Exchange cri­tiques with other writ­ers. It’s eas­ier to see prob­lems in other people’s work than in your own.
  • Accept crit­i­cism grace­fully and give it care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion. Not every­one is capa­ble of being encour­ag­ing and sup­port­ive, or even of pro­vid­ing a valid critique—but your read­ers will be no more accom­mo­dat­ing than your worst critic.
  • Read your work out loud, slowly. You’ll catch prob­lems with your ears that elude your eyes.
  • Print your writ­ing out on paper. You’ll catch more errors in print than you will on-screen (though I can’t offer a sound, log­i­cal rea­son why this is the case).
  • Use a spelling and gram­mar checker. This seems so obvi­ous but…
  • After you’ve done every­thing you can do on your own, find an edi­tor who suits your style, per­son­al­ity, and goals. What do you have to lose? If your man­u­script is per­fect, your edi­tor will con­grat­u­late you, send your man­u­script back, and prob­a­bly charge you very lit­tle if any­thing for that con­fir­ma­tion. If not, you’ll receive use­ful sug­ges­tions and well-stated sup­port for improve­ments that your “very smart friends” missed. Your book and your future writ­ing will be bet­ter for it.
  • My own first novel exem­pli­fies “first book naïveté.” Like many writ­ers, I took the “respon­si­ble route” and had my man­u­script looked over by sev­eral smart, lit­er­ate, capa­ble friends. Those friends found a num­ber of prob­lems I’d missed, but they missed a num­ber of prob­lems I wish I’d found. When I began work­ing with a pro­fes­sional edi­tor, I was able to put a much finer fin­ish on my prose with­out los­ing my own voice; and I became a much bet­ter writer through that process.

Maybe your book really does suck? Join the club. Any accom­plished writer will tell you about all the early work they’ll never show you. But through com­plet­ing these early works, the aspir­ing writer learns why they’re bro­ken and grows through that expe­ri­ence. Remember how you thought you’d found the love of your life way back in high school? How you gave that rela­tion­ship every­thing and still got your heart bro­ken? Books are no dif­fer­ent. Many turn out to be teach­ers and step­ping stones, not final solu­tions. And some of the most suc­cess­ful ones ben­e­fit from a bit of counseling.

Learning to write well is a steep climb up a tall moun­tain. But if you put one foot in front of the other and head in the right direc­tion, the top of the moun­tain has no choice but to come to you. If you haven’t reached the sum­mit yet, join the mil­lions of writ­ers who aspire to get better—word by word, sen­tence by sen­tence, para­graph by para­graph. Keep climb­ing and the view behind you will become expan­sive and beautiful.
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one
will do ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Saranna View Drop Down
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  Quote Saranna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2014 at 10:11am
Well that all rings true!
Death comes to all
But great achievements raise a monument
Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
- George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'
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