Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. – Mark Twain #amwriting #amediting

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. . .

. . .Knowing which words are the wrong words, not so easy.

There is a definite art to editing, as I am constantly reminded when I edit other peoples work. It is so easy to spot problems in their writing, and so hard to spot them in my own.

Succinct word choice, duplicate words or information, reordering sentences, typos and other problems, are all very easy when I am reading someone else’s work. The minute I read my own I become. . .typo blind.

I have adopted a few mitigation strategies to help me to edit my own work. One of my favourites being ‘Text to Speech’ on my computer. This only really helps for small bodies of work. With the best intentions, computer speech sounds like—computer speech—and it can get pretty monotonous if used for too long.

Another favourite, which I use when editing my story, is reading it on my kindle. For some reason putting it in a different format on a different device makes (at least some) of the problems pop out.

Finally, I have a pretty comprehensive checklist that I use to help me find my own personal writing demons.

I am just coming to the pointy end of writing my book, which means the mighty editing process is about to begin. I am always looking for new insights on editing.

So, if you have any tips or techniques I would LOVE to hear from you.

What works for you? What doesn’t work?

If you have written your own blog posts on the topic, or know any good sites PLEASE drop a link below.

All help gratefully received 🙂



12 thoughts on “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. – Mark Twain #amwriting #amediting

  1. Great tips, Georgina. I also read aloud (I tried the text to voice but found it easier to just do it myself because of all the stopping and backing up). Sort of like reading in Kindle, I print the ms in a different font. It changes the look and I’m able to scribble in the margins at the same time. I also keep my lists of personal pitfalls including crutch words. I search the words, word by word in Word 🙂 I have found Grammarly helpful at the very end, and it has caught additional problems that all my other methods missed. I tried the paid version but find the free version sufficient. Have fun editing. Congrats on being so close to finishing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Grammarly takes a long time to go through a whole book. Many of the suggestions are annoying and you’ll just click through them. But on my last book it caught about 15 typos that I’d missed after all my editing, so it was worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I would recommend uploading your work to CreateSpace (don’t actually publish it, and just use one of their covers) and ordering a hard copy proof. I can spot troublesome issues and tiny typos far more easily once it’s in book form, so its worth paying for the proof.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I put my drafts on my Kindle, partly so I can have them read to me, and partly because then I can mark up drafts without the possibility of making edits right away.

    I wrote about it here: http://u-town.com/collins/?p=3609.

    Oh, and I agree with Annabelle about having your draft made into a book (I’ve used Lulu, but it’s the same idea). Very valuable learning experience (on a more macro level — the TTS is quite a bit more micro 🙂 ).

    Liked by 1 person

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