Happy International Women’s Day!
SQUEE … My EDITING article was published in a print magazine!
Astute editing transforms a great story into something sensational!
Editing polishes your writing until it sparkles and shines with the gloss of a professional. A polished piece of writing hooks a reader from the beginning, holding them to the last word.
Wendy Johnson of South City Bulletin requested I write an article about the three levels of editing … structural, line and word. I explained an easy to follow recipe … Always start with the BIG picture of your story with a structural edit. Then work your way down to line editing and finally word editing.
Take a close examination of the overall structure of your story and answer these questions…
1. Does the story flow and make sense? Is it believable?
2. First sentence … Is your first sentence powerful, hooking the reader in?
3. First paragraph … Does your first paragraph anchor and orientate the Reader to the setting, the main character and the problem, hooking us even more
4. First Page … Does the first page set up the story and the conflict? Do we care about the main character?
5. Overall story arc … Does the story build up to a climax?
6. Ending … Is the ending satisfying to the reader? Are all the questions resolved?
7. Are the story events sequenced logically?
8. What is missing from the story?
- Eliminate unnecessary modifiers which weaken your sentence i.e. possibly, simply, really, totally, very, supposedly, seriously, terribly, allegedly, utterly, sort of, kind of, usually, extremely, almost, mostly, practically, probably, and quite.
- Search for extraneous thats and hads. Either delete or rephrase the sentence.
- Eliminate all clichés.E Replace with powerful prose or invent original metaphors and similes. Rewrite, rephrase, reconfigure. The more times you rewrite your sentences, the sharper they’ll become.
Replace boring verbs i.e. get, give, sat, say, see, stood, use, want, walk with words and phrases that have energy
- Swap lazy adjectives with better word picture and metaphors. E.g. easy, nice, interesting, wonderful, big, fine, bad, exciting, good, little, strange.
- Delete adverbs ending in ly unless they change the way the verb behaves e.g. whispered loudly = OK but whispered softy = no-no.
- Remove all unnecessary or overused words e.g. that, very, just, because, then etc. Plus check out unnecessary modifiers above in line editing.
Top #2 Books on Editing
1. Little Red Writing Book by Mark Tredinnick
2. The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
South City Bulletin print magazine published these editing techniques & MORE. Click here to read the FULL article… http://www.southcitybulletin.com.au/page23.html
Hope these easy-to-follow steps offer your writing that extra boost.
Good luck with your story
Were these editing tips helpful?
What editing strategies work for you?