This clip is from my “Success with Words” column in Big Blend’s The Success Express on October 4, 2011 http://www.successexpressmagazine.com/WriteWhatYouMean.html
‘$uccessful with Words’
Write What You Mean
by Maralyn D. Hill, Co-
Editing is a must when you write. Even the best writers and editors need someone else to edit their work.
It is very easy when you are typing quickly to misspell or use the wrong spelling of a word. I did it a few weeks ago with an important e-
One column cannot begin to cover editing. I think many of us are guilty of using spell check and grammar check on the computer and thus fail to read our article or e-
I’m going to include an excerpt from the book I co-
It is difficult for all of us to keep up with the latest trends and rules of grammar. Rules change with the times. Although we have both worked as editors, we realize that we need an objective editor for the final copy before the manuscript goes to press. We are fortunate in having Norman Hill, who makes up the third part of the Hill team.
One of the best rules of editing we learned from our good friend and teacher at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, Cork Millner (yes, he writes books on wine):
Do not edit while writing. You can go back and fine tune after it is all on the computer.
Do not do the final edit yourself. You may make the same mistake you made in the first place.
Plus, it is best to have a trained professional and objective eye give a critique.
We’re also going to paraphrase Cork’s editing tip that we mentioned earlier:
Take a pen to almost every… and, but, yet, so, however, and too that do not add meaning to your story. Circle those little words. Now look at your page. It will resemble a bunch of Cheerios. We call them lifesavers. Remove these lifesavers and your shorter story will sing.
We touched on the importance of editing. Use the lifesaver technique. But you’re not done. No matter how good you are, when you read it out loud, you will find things you’ve missed. We are repeating a tip mentioned in Chapter 1. It is important:
One of the most valuable tools we have learned is to read aloud to a friend, or… at least, yourself, before you finish your last draft. Do this before your read aloud to a writing group.
Lou Willet Stanek, Ph.D., author of “So You Want to Write a Novel,” taught us this valuable editing truth a decade ago… “THE EAR CAN HEAR WHAT THE EYE CANNOT SEE.”
This read aloud exercise and the lifesaver trick will help you follow George Orwell’s advice, “When you can cut a word, cut it.” Reading aloud also helps to hear sound, rhythm, tone and your authentic voice.
We learned to write tighter by rewriting and reading aloud as many times as it takes.
You may have a friend or a family member that is an English teacher who offers to read your manuscript. That is ok, but don’t have that person be your final editor. Money spent on a professional editor is money well spent. Be sure you have someone edit your book who is used to editing for style, dates, grammar, spelling, and consistency.
When you are editing, it is a good time to look for words or phrases that
can be replaced by more effective ones!