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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Editing Tips of the Week


What is the harshest, most painful part of writing? Some may say,

"Without a doubt outlining, makes me pull my hair out; literally pull it out, until I'm bald or patchy."

Or...

"If you want to see wailing and gnashing of teeth, come into my house during formatting and submission time!"

But...

In my humble, writer's opinion, the part of writing that brings more tears, more ulcers, and more rocking in the corner, chanting "not now, not again," over and over like a lunatic is -- EDITING!

 Editing and proofreading, those blessed, totally frustrating, but necessary evils that are part of every writer's daily living.  As much as authors would like to think what they put on the page just turns to pure, written gold in an instant, it just isn't realistic!

I have taken this a step further (in hopes to relieve the burden in my own writing) and I enrolled  in Poynter University Editing program and I have to admit -- I  thought I had a wide knowledge base of the written word, but have since been humbled. There is so much to continually learn  about writing, grammar and horrible-drive me crazy-punctuation. I set out with a mission to help other writers during this painstakingly, so-necessary process and began my own freelance editing services! 

I now am of the opinion, that editing does not have to be the pull-my-teeth-out and throw-the-computer-out-the-window, process! On the contrary, it can be exciting and exhilarating to see your work of art be polished and refined until light emits from it and angles sing praises!

Because of this belief I have, I have set up on the blog that I will post editing tips each week for myself, other authors and other editors to use and apply to their own writing. So, we might as well begin for this week. I have some biggies. These two tips are some I have found to be great weaknesses in my own writing! I hope these can help you refine those pages on your screen!

Editing Tips:

Long Sentence? Split it up: When I proofread my own manuscript or posts one of my greatest weaknesses is writing long sentences. I am a comma diva! I love those curvy, little punctuation marks! In my mind, if I have a comma then the sentence can go on!

However, it has resulted in too- many- to count long sentences. If I have to go back and re-read all my paragraphs because the sentence went on for a mile and I got lost along the way (see what I mean, take breath here), then my readers will also have to.

See if you can split those bad boys up!


Don't begin a thought with 'Start to': Let me just explain this by example. This is an actual excerpt from a sentence from my three-book series (work in progress). I'll let you see the change and you tell me what you think.

-Starting to pace back and forth nervously, he wondered how he would ever undo the damage he had done-

Or...

'Pacing nervously back and forth, he wondered how he would ever undo the damage he had done-

The point is, does someone start to pace or are they just pacing?

My suggestion would be to go back through your pages and click the 'find' button in your word program. Type the word 'start' and see if you were as shocked as I was to find all the moments that I wrote "start to". Just re-wording a few things can make all the difference in your descriptions!

I hope these tips have encouraged some pondering in your mind about your own writing styles! Keep trudging along, and edit as you go!

Happy writing!







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