When it comes to producing masterpieces, writing and editing are inseparable. Hence, whenever ‘great writing’ is talked about, references is indirectly made also to ‘great editing.’ Editing can change an average piece of content into something extraordinary. It remains one of the most significant aspects of the writing procedure. However, an astounding number of writers underrate its value.
In writing mistakes are inevitable. You can often be so inside of your creative process that a simple slip of the fingers can easily go overlooked. Verb tense sometimes can be confusing, words can be misspelled, and sometimes even sillier mistakes can happen. Thus being so inside your process we then risk reading what was intended in your minds rather than what was written. These are inevitable, and this is why editing is crucial.
How to edit successfully
You may not have access to a professional editor, but you can use the following tips to help you edit your writing more efficiently.
1. Finish Your Work
Before you start editing your work, it’s of vital importance to first finish being a writer. This is because writing is entirely different from editing. Allowing both processes may discourage the art of our writing. It's preferable to give yourself time to finish writing before editing.
2. Read your manuscript in a new format and aloud.
If your work is typed, you need to print it out. But before then, endeavor to convert to PDF format by changing your initial text to a different size, font and possibly colors before reading aloud. Reading your writing aloud will force you to take note of your words, spellings, grammar, and punctuations because they’re magnified. These techniques will help you see your content from an “outsider’s” perspective and give you a more critical eye.
3. Remove filler words and repetitive phrases.
Many of us use informal filler words such as “um,” “OK,” “like,” or “you know” in our everyday speech. While such informal language is common, it can cause your writing to be far less effective. Endeavor to use your word processor to find unnecessary words and phrases. Aim for variety. You can use a word frequency counter to find repetitive words and scan a thesaurus to find alternatives.
4. Using writing tools/software program to Find Mistakes
There are different tools you can use as a writer to further edit your work and turn it into a masterpiece. These tools also look at spelling and grammar mistakes by using advanced rules such as double negatives, run-on sentences, and dangling modifiers. The importance of these tools is that they’ll help you see further weaknesses in your writing.
5. Finally, let Someone Else Read It
Engage someone that will help you review after editing is fundamental. Whether it is a trusted writer-friend, or professional editor getting someone else to read your work is always helpful. This is because they’ll easily notice the mistakes you tend to omit. Furthermore, they’ll also be able to give a different perspective without being emotionally biased towards your work.
Yes, editing is is an inevitable part of writing, besides the actual writing of it. Editing is for everyone who writes because it will make your work appear professional. Don't be too depressed when you feel like you’ve edited your writing to death. This is normal. Remember the first step is to write your draft, edit and revise it, and allow other reliable sources to help you perfect it.