Writing and Editing, 36

Please, excuse the foul language in the quote I am sharing with you today. Also know that this approach is far from being my own stance on any of my editorial work. Still, the statement enticed me enough to invite you to a humorous thought . . . because when it comes to my own writings, I generally beat my drafts to death. As for the manuscripts of others, I am as gentle as a lamb. (Or so I want to believe . . .)

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.” ~ Don Roff

Writing and Editing, 35

“Editing. It’s like dieting; except a lot more violent.” ~ Leya Delray

I agree with this claim. I only want to add “self-editing” to the equation. When it comes to my own writings, I am often in a turmoil of a large variety of emotions, thoughts and judgments. I have recently completed a new book. Prose poetry. I forget how many drafts I have worked on (I am afraid to look at that folder . . .) And I know that the “best editing” will materialize on the print-copy, as my dear publisher would say. How about you?

Writing and Editing, 30

My last post was about self-editing. How to self-edit “until your fingers bleed (CK Webb)”. This time, too, I am sharing with you a quote on the same subject matter. An editor must be brutally honest and utterly diligent when it comes to her / his own work also – maybe even more so when manuscripts are concerned with which she / he has been entrusted by others. “Dark side” or not, I know that I will keep myself entangled in this process. I still wonder . . . what do you make of the statement below?

“Self editing is the path to the dark side. Self editing leads to self delusion, self delusion leads to missed mistakes, missed mistakes lead to bad reviews. Bad reviews are the tools of the dark side.” ~ Eric T. Benoit

A Checklist for Self-Editing

I have given self-editing tips to myself as well as to family, friends and clients. We tend to pass through our days in a haste. Wordiness then becomes obsolete. In many instances, that is. So, here is a checklist for our own writings. A source which spoke to me as far as common sense. Hence, the reason behind my sharing it with you. I hope you will enjoy and apply the tips toward your next writing. The one at hand will do also.

Self-Editing

 

Sentence-Length

Throughout our early schooling, we hear how poor of an impression “run-on” sentences make on behalf of our composition homework. This “warning” does not stop after our school years are long over. My focus here is not those red flag-language aspects, however. Long sentences need to be tenderized as well. Even those where the structure is grammatically sound. After all, a sentence must contain an idea. When we resort to long sentences, several ideas may end up finding a comfortable home in them. A red flag! Our readers will unavoidably lose focus. So, let us make an effort to provide them with a breather. Let us also consider eliminating comma-rich sentences while we are in the midst of some spring-cleaning. Gifting each sentence with an idea of its own could and would help the process.