Archive for advice

An Overview: Editing Your Fiction, by L

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by experimentswithreason

I pride myself on being a great editor. I am not ashamed to say that I am an absolute perfectionist when it comes to proofreading/copyediting, particularly my own work. Many pages have died by drowning in red ink or graphite, or the swift, final stroke of the ‘Backspace’ key.

Most of this happens simultaneously with the creating, to where I hardly notice I’m doing it. I edit as I go – we all do, to a certain extent. Given encouragement and ‘tips and tricks’, these skills can easily be refined to serve us well not just with fiction, but any piece of writing, from a quick email to a prospective employer to a note left for our spouse, to an evaluative report for that project at work or a personal journal entry.

I do it because I am a creature of pride. I think errors in my writing reflect badly on me as a person. I am afraid people will think I’m an idiot if they see a misspelling or consistenency error, or a slob if they can’t tell where my sentences end or find one space too many. But mostly, I do it because I am obsessed – as any love has a degree of obsession – with my writing being the best it can possibly be.

I’ll probably go into more detail later on specific aspects of self-editing, but I thought it’d be a good idea to pass on twelve things that help me, and that have helped others when they’ve asked me to look at something. They encompass common-sense areas to check in-text, out-of-text management hints,¬†and areas I frequently pick up on in others’ writing, and I hope you find them to be a good starting place.

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