- Do Not Edit Immediately Countless writers love to edit or line edit their work when they finish and feel as if they have accomplished something, before going on to the next chapter or scene. Yet, there is likely that you will be too fatigued from writing to devote your focus and concentration to every single aspect that needs checking. A useful way to edit would be to step aside from your work and take a rest or approach it several days later. An advantage of this technique is that you avoid the trap of falling in love with your writing at that time. Give it time to rest for a while before you look at it again.
- Do a Summary Go over your text so you can spot a lot of the most obvious errors, such as glaring typos and misspelt words, also to make sure your words function in general. Pay attention to the pace, and make sure there isn’t any significant factual errors or logical inconsistencies. That is your chance to remedy some of the broader issues with your writing, given that there are any before you can move on to a more detailed editing or line edits.
- Print Out Your Work One of the difficult things about editing is being impersonal when it comes to your writing. But there is a way you can bypass this issue and put some distance between yourself and your work. Always print out on paper and then go over it. That is plausibly the best way of reproducing reading someone else’s work, therefore being as objective as possible. You may prefer to write using a pen and paper, ( I do like a fountain pen and paper) or a laptop, but always print out the work.
- Read it Out Loud (or Get Siri to Read it) When you are reading anything, the words should flow together, as if you were hearing to someone speak, so be the one doing the speaking or have it read to you by Siri or Alexa? Read your work out loud and see how it sounds. Having it read out loud will assist you in detecting sentences that sound a touch off so that you can identify them for editing or deletion. Also, try to write the way people speak, this is showing your inner voice and the way that you talk. It will present the readers with a sense that there is someone human behind the narration or dialogue they are reading and not a robot.
- Do Not Add Filtering Words I’m are not talking about the filler words that add nothing to the story. If you find using constructions such as “repeating the same thing over”, then delete them, or just keep one. More words don’t suggest better writing; this is why you should try to be economical and use the right amount of words to express your ideas and thoughts. That is why I hate word count requirements. I found in a short story competition requiring 1000 words and I only had 700 at the end of my story. So, I added some filler sentences that didn’t add anything and were considered noise by the judges.
- Powerful Verbs are More Acceptable than Adverbs If you use weak verbs or adverbs, you do risk appearing unconvincing and doubtful, as if you are not 100% confident with the words you are presenting. A way to fix this would be to replace those weak verbs or adverbs with stronger ones so that there is no quandary about what you’re saying. For example, you may use a phrase like “make it better”, whereas a more practical solution would be to use verbs like “increase”, “enhance”, “strengthen”. The replacement or the elimination of weak adverbs and adjectives.
- Do Not Attempt to Save as Much as You Can Every writer finds it painful to abandon any of their work. But, you should think of it as striving to carve out a statue from a single piece of marble. The good material is already there; you have to cut the bits that are unnecessary. Nothing will save you as much time as dropping a paragraph or chapter that doesn’t add anything, instead of spending hours dtrying to save it. Discard it to find out if the story runs just as well without it.
Published by Philip Shepherd
This is a new facet of my life and desire to make a success of the novel writing business.
I do love the crime fiction genre and the noir/hard-boiled sub-genre.
It is the intention to start a novel series where the Protagonist is a private investigator. Things go wrong and right for him inside the fiction world.
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