Friday, August 9, 2013

Writing Friday: Editing

Hello, everyone! I hope you found last week's post about critiquing helpful.

Today, I am going to talk about editing your own writing.

The order in which you edit depends on the way you write.

You may be a person who plots everything out and writes a nearly perfect first draft. That's not me, but I do know people who do that.

You may be a person who writes your first draft very quickly just to get it all down, and you'll worry about correcting everything later.

I'm somewhere in between those two.

If you're like the first type of writer I mentioned, then your editing process will probably be shorter. If you're like the second type of writer I mentioned, it might take you a couple more drafts to reach a "finished" product.

So, before you actually start the editing process, I recommend setting aside your writing. Wait 2-4 weeks, or longer than that if you can bear it.

Then, when your mind is clear, you can go back to editing.
When editing, you may want to check for typos and grammar errors. Do this first or last, whichever you prefer.
Another thing to edit is content. Avoid usage of "weasel words" which are annoying, useless words you tend to sneak into your writing. Some of my "weasel words" are "that, really, and quite". Look in your own manuscript to find those overuses.

Also, remember the old saying "show, don't tell". Do not simply tell your readers what you are writing; show them instead. It makes for much better writing.

Make sure your writing is efficient. Don't use a ton of words when you don't need to.

Now, you may need to go through more than two drafts. That is normal. Just keep editing until you get to a product you like.

And, there you go, you have edited your manuscript!

By the way, are you wondering HOW to edit? I typically print out my file, put it in a binder, and use red pens and highlighters to edit. I have some friends who write their first draft and type it up, editing as they go. Other people edit completely on their computer. It all depends on how you prefer to do it.

I gave you a very brief summary of editing, so if you have any questions about the subject, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.

Have you done a lot of editing? If you're writing a novel, which draft are you on? How many drafts do you typically write?

If you don't write novels, have you used editing before in things like writing essays for school?


  1. That's cool that you print your manuscript out to edit it. I can't stand typing when I can write a first draft, but sometimes it's actually easier for me to edit on the computer. I'm not sure why...
    Do you normally start out typing or writing?

    1. Thanks, Cortney.
      That's interesting! I like to type my first drafts, but the first draft of Swept to Sea was handwritten because I didn't have regular access to a computer then.
      So, from now on, I like to type my drafts.

  2. Very interesting post! I usually end up handwriting out something and then typing it up - for me going between the two mediums (writing on paper and then seeing it as you type it up on the screen) lets me catch a lot more errors than if I just do one type. Then I'll usually print it out and go over it (if it's something for school sometimes I'll edit someone else's while they edit mine, just to get a different set of eyes).

    1. Yeah, I can see that that would be helpful. That's a good idea!

  3. I'm a red pen girl. A lot simpler... plus my WIP is such a mess... haha.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I like my red pens. Haha :)

  4. Good tips. :) I write on the computer and I'm currently on my third draft. It's hard to keep track. I'm rewriting/editing right now. :)

    Stori Tori's Blog

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! Yeah, it's hard for me to keep track of which draft I'm on. :)


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