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  1. #1
    Dami Owoyele

    Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    It can be overwhelmingly infuriating at times when you have painfully written a piece as well edited it;thus, believing that you have finally created a masterpiece only to have someone pointing out mistakes in the suppose-to-be masterpiece to you. Of course, the write-up in question is not a book to be presented to a publisher or an agent, but an article meant for the 'casual' content producing sites. Is there anyone who can give a little hint about how to self-edit ones work to a point of near-zero errors?

  2. #2
    Keith .

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    Are you writing these articles in English? I'm sure your grasp of English is better than mine of your language so no offense meant. But your English needs serious work before you even consider editing. Luck.

  3. #3
    Dami Owoyele

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    thank you keith

  4. #4
    Ray Veen

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    There's no easy way. You have to, have to, have to go over it about a bazillion times. Other people's eyes are a huge help because they tend to see what you actually said, as opposed to what you believe you said.

    Editing is my personal least favorite part of the writing process. And yet, every first draft continues to suck.

    Mark my words: someday I'll write something that doesn't need editing. Oh yes. Someday.

  5. #5

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    For starters, it's "undertaking" not "undertaken."

  6. #6
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    At least he didn't say undertaker. I'd hate to imagine a colossal undertaker.

  7. #7
    Finnley Wren

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    Make sure you read it aloud, word for word. You'll catch lots of stuff that way.

    You also need to be self-aware enough to know your own shortcomings. With me, it's the apostrophe. So I review every single one to ensure (as best I can) I've used it appropriately.

  8. #8
    Finnley Wren

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken

    And nothing is ever perfect. If that's your standard, you'll never send anything out. You do get better with experience, though. I shudder to remember some of the early stuff I inflicted on unsuspecting editors and agents.

    You do get better with practice.

  9. #9
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: Self-Editing: A Colossal Undertaken


    I will echo the opinion of others here: Read every word out loud. Better yet, get someone else to read it to you. Listen for the wrong word choice, the awkward sentence, the misplaced comma, the wrong emphasis, the stilted dialogue, etc. When you read your work aloud, you MUST be an active listener.

    My second piece of advice is to read, read, read. Read works in your genre. Read the classics. Read award-winning authors. Study the literary tricks these authors use. How they create tension in a scene? How do they describe action? How is setting used as a character? I've learned much about editing by reading the polished work of fine writers.

    Set your work aside before you edit. Let it breathe and rest so that you come back to it with fresh eyes. When you can read your own work without remembering what you felt while you were writing it, you've developed an objective eye--critical to editing your own writing.

    Don't edit on the screen. It's too easy to miss the mistakes. Print it out so you can see how it really looks on a page. I do this even for online publications.

    Just a few ideas to help you...The best writing is in the re-writing.


  10. #10
    Linden Holidae

    Stephen King said.....

    He said to 'first write with the door shut, because you'll be writing for yourself. then open the door and write for everyone else.'(paraphrasing of course)

    I have read a butt load of books on writing, and from my favorite authors and others in the field who i admire.

    They ALL say, basically, you'll never be able to write it right the first time. Even some of the greats have said that they've re-written chapters many, many times.

    Earnest Hemingway said of one of his great works to an interviewer, (paraphrasing here)I have re-wrote the last chapter (29) times. something like that.

    Re-writing and editing is in the blood of great writing.
    Get used to it because writing is WORK, that's for sure, huh everyone?


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