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Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection

One of the most important skills you need to develop as a writer is the ability to edit your work. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented friends who can help you fix your writing, then you’re in luck. Otherwise, you might have to endure a lot of painful drafts before you finally produce a work that’s worth publishing.

But fear not! With a little bit of editing know-how, you can totally transform your writing into something marvelous. In this blog post, we’ll teach you the essential skills you need to become an expert editor. Let’s get to it.

Know What To Edit

One of the most fundamental rules of editing is knowing what to edit. Before you start making any changes to your manuscript, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Does this scene need to happen in the story?
  • Does this bit of dialogue add anything to the tale?
  • Does this paragraph flow well as part of the plot?

If you can answer yes to all three questions, then you’re probably good to go. However, if you can’t answer yes to any of them, then you might want to reconsider making any changes to this particular part of the story. Instead, you could rewrite it or cut it altogether. It depends on what you need to achieve your goal.

Pay Attention To The Little Details

When you make a change to your work, no matter how big or small, you should always pay attention to the little details. These are the things that can make or break a story. Even if you’ve got an amazing tale with a clever story arc, if you’ve got spelling errors and awkward language, it won’t matter because your readers won’t be able to enjoy the book.

So, when you’re editing, don’t just look at the bigger picture. Instead, carefully analyze each part of the story and determine what needs to change. And when you’ve changed everything you can, you can rest assured that your story will shine.

Embrace The Rewrite

One of the best things about becoming an editor is that you get to embrace the rewrite. Don’t worry; we don’t mean a complete re-write. What we mean is that whenever you’ve got something in your story that doesn’t work, you get to try and fix it. The freedom to experiment and to try new things is what makes editing so special. This is especially crucial if you’re a beginner editor and don’t yet know what works and what doesn’t work in your writing.

If you’ve got a weak plot and nothing interesting happens, you’ll probably want to try and fix this. Or if you find that your characters are two-dimensional, you’ll want to give them some depth. There’s no real formula to making your work good. You just need to keep trying until you find what works best for you.

Think About The Bigger Picture

When you’re editing, it’s essential to think about the bigger picture. This means taking time to consider the overall form and shape of your story. Sometimes, this can be a tricky balance to strike. On the one hand, you want to keep the story moving forward, but on the other hand, you don’t want to lose sight of the overall arc of the tale. This is especially important if you’re a reader who’s already read the book and is thus familiar with the overall plot.

If you’ve got a vague notion of where the story is heading, but you’re not entirely sure, you can look to your outline to get an idea of the underlying theme. However, if you don’t have an outline or you don’t think it’s that good, then you can ask other writers or editors for help. They can give you some advice on how to make it better.

How To End An Edit

As we mentioned above, no matter how much you try and fix your work, there will always be something that needs to be changed. However, rather than leaving the task of editing to chance, you can become a pro at it by learning how to end an edit. There are several strategies you can use to do this, and it all depends on what you need to achieve your goal. But, generally speaking, you can either cut it, polish it, or wrap it up.

Once you’ve got your work perfectly edited, you can either go back and forth between paragraphs or cut it altogether. It’s up to you. But whatever you do, make sure that the flow and rhythm of your writing is preserved as much as possible. Doing this can be quite the journey, and it will certainly take some time to arrive at the end result.

So, whether you’ve been dreading the task of editing or you’ve been looking forward to it, this article will help you become an expert editor. By following these simple guidelines, you’ll be able to make your work shine and to enjoy the process along the way.