There’s one part of the writing process that I’m worse at than all the others.
Every time I think I’ve done enough, there’s more to do.
What is it?
(Wait…are you a new writer and need to know the steps of the writing process? Click below or read to the end.)
(Wait, wait…are you an experienced writer? There’s a question for you at the end, too.)
I always miss a stray word or detail. Once we have put everything in place, the natural tendency is to turn it in or send it off to be published with mistakes and all.
Every writer is like this. That’s why there are professional editors, to correct the mistakes of the writer.
But not all of us have time for a professional editor. Especially when we’re writing short stories, articles or blog posts.
What steps should we go through for editing?
1) Reread. This is obvious. And it’ll help you capture the obvious mistakes.
2) Ask: How can I say this differently? This is not an obvious mistake. The sentences may not even be technically wrong. But by making things tighter and shorter, the message or plot point gets across even better. I have the tendency to overload sentences with too many prepositions or unnecessary transitive verbs. Let me know where I mess up.
3) Read aloud. This is not always possible, but when I do it, the mistakes jump out at me.
4) Read with another person. The other person doesn’t have to be an editor. It can just be a friend. Once they’re reading, the mistakes will really jump out of you. That extra pressure from a friend makes you more attentive.
Wondering about the other essentials? I’ve got you covered. Just click below for the 6 Writing Essentials. It’s geared towards new writers, but you can have it, too and share with others.
Hey, experienced writers: I know what you’re thinking. This article sucked. It’s poorly edited and you could add three more editing techniques. That’s cool. Let me know your changes or techniques in the comments below.