Writing Tip: Editing

ImageSo, you’re finished with your first draft. The hard work is done, your ideas are on the page, you can sit back, relax, and breathe. But wait, you’re not done just yet. Before your work is ready for anything else, you must start the editing process. At first, it seems overwhelming. You could possibly have a four hundred page book to read through and edit. Or, it could be a short story, only a few pages long. Either way, it needs to be revised, and the process is a long and hard one. I suggest starting out with reading through one chapter a day and fixing grammar, spelling, and sentence structure mistakes if it is a longer piece. If it is a short story, you might want to just read through the whole thing at once and get this step done with. After you have done this, read it through again for content. Does it have a hook? Will it catch the reader’s attention? Is it written in a way that you will want to keep reading? If you can answer yes to all of these, then keep going. If you can’t, go back and fix it, making it more appealing to the reader. The first page/chapter is always the most important part of the piece, as it is the first thing that a reader will see.

After this is done, repeat for all other chapters. Once you get to the end, guess what… It’s time to start over. Read through the entire piece again. Then, ask yourself a few questions: Does it all match up? Does the story make sense? Do your characters fit well in the story? Do your characters make sense? Does the plot keep readers interested? If you can answer yes to all of these, then you are almost done.

Give your work to someone else to read through. Make sure that they give you an honest opinion, and take into consideration their suggestions to make your story even better. If you feel that your piece is as good as it can get after this step is finished, then you are done with this process!

Do you have a different process for editing? Would you add any more steps? Let me know in the comments!

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