Monday, May 14, 2007

Don't Panic - Organise! - Step Three:

  • As you write, note in bold, or use a highlighter pen, or a different colour font any sentences, words, or phrases you are unsure of, or unhappy about. This way you can can easily revisit these highlighted areas when you edit.
  • It is much easier to critique someone else's work than your own, so approach your writing as if someone else has written it.
  • Control your vocabulary. Use the find and replace function on your computer to find the words you overuse and then change them using the thesaurus for other, often more imaginative words.
  • Print and read each chapter or section aloud. Ask yourself, 'Does it sound right?' If you run out of breath halfway through a sentence, it is definitely too long.
  • I find printed text is much easier to edit than on the screen. Highlight problem areas (as specified above)to revise after you've finished reading it aloud.
  • It is a good idea to review sentences by focusing on one idea in each.
  • When writing for children, especially young children, short, focused sentences are clearer.
  • At many of the workshops on writing I've been to, they suggest to keep your voice active and verbs strong. I have found this to be good advice and it helps me to find a focus for each sentence as I edit.
  • Be careful when using acronyms, slang or jargon because it can date your writing.
  • Something I've learnt from my online critique group very recently is - special vocabulary should be used cautiously, introduced early, defined and used consistently.
  • And finally, if in doubt chop it out.

For more information on editing read my previous post: All About Editing


Anonymous said...

Makes me smile, Anita Marion

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Hey, thanks Dave,

You can't fool me with the anonymous tag. I know it's you.

Glad I put a smile on your face.

Best wishes, Anita

Lisa Booth said...

i just had a thought and posted my thought in my blog too.. about what we were talking about today regarding work and needing to be motivated.. i think what it is is you actually dont like what you could be doing? and its putting yu off?? its boring...?
i think that is the case in my case, as to the dreery cd i have sat on my desk i just cannot get to write a review for it and i think that is because its boring and dreery and i just cant seem to write a bad review! theres nothing in the music or any of it to motivate me to write about it.

Jez said...

Such great advice, thanks Anita!

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Thanks Jez and Lisa for taking the time to make a comment. I'm pleased you have found it helpful.