When we write our first draft of any text, a sense of vulnerability hits us. Our capacity to word our intended content will be exposed, after all – together with our authorial voice; especially, if we are working toward the product of a literary genre. More the reason for us to be mindful as to how we compose that writing. Clarity, coherence and cohesiveness had better be on our side!
An editor is a professional who must limit himself / herself to modifying only a writer’s words, sentences and paragraphs for the sake of clarity, coherence and cohesiveness. Once the editing process results in the sacrifice of the authorial voice, the edited draft is no longer the artistic creation of the writer but rather, the product of an overzealous red pen-user.
“Once you’ve got to the end, and you know what happens, it’s your job to make it look like you knew exactly what you were doing all along.” ~
“I have a confession. I’m a little OCD when I post on social media – I tend to edit more than I should. But then I started thinking, maybe we should all edit a little more – our posts, our thoughts, our words.” ~
I have the same confession. Hence, the appeal of this sentiment by Traci Lea LaRussa . . . I would, however, eliminate “maybe” from the equation and intensify “a little more” – because we all owe it to clarity and coherence, and should, therefore, edit our writings not only “a little more”, but rather more intently.
“Writing is like riding a bike. Once you gain momentum, the hills are easier. Editing, however, requires a motor and some horsepower.” ~ Gina McKnight
“Editing is like pruning the rose bush you thought was so perfect and beautiful until it overgrew the garden.” ~
“We achieve originality of style not by avoiding the influences of others but by blending them into a combination that has not been heard before.” ~
“In writing, there is art. And in art there is craft . . .” ~
“Remove the comma, replace the comma, remove the comma, replace the comma . . .”
“If you don’t hate your darlings a little by the time they go to press, you haven’t edited them enough.” ~
Do I ever agree with the sentiment quoted above! (I had posted another statement by the same author. My mind seems to work along hers . . .)