Good writing is rewriting.
Almost all of us start with a shitty first draft.
By editing we take from good enough to good to great.
Thankfully good editing is not rocket science.
You can use a few basic principles to edit your own writing like a pro.
I am listing those in this short guide for you to use.
- Don’t edit while writing. Write drunk, edit sober.
- Get rid of qualifiers in sentences, like I think, I feel or I believe. (Example – Unedited: I believed everyone should eat homemade food for good health. Edited: Eat homemade food for good health.)
- Short sentences help break the monotony of writing. But too many of them in a row, makes the writing choppy. When you have several short sentences in a row combine a few of them.
- Avoid long sentences because they are difficult to understand and boring.
- Review the order of your writing and make sure that the most important piece of your writing appears in the beginning.
- Use a hook in the beginning, something the readers can’t stop nodding to.
- Stay consistent with verb tense. Don’t start writing in present tense and move to past tense in the middle for a few sentences.
- Work on structure. Reorder sections, paragraphs so that your writing presents a clear narrative. When working on structure it highlights the parts when you want to add new content so that it is easy to execute once you go back to it.
- Use one idea per sentence, per paragraph, per chapter.
- Entire paragraph supports the first sentence of that paragraph.
- Edit out jargons or difficult to understand words, words that most people will have to pick a dictionary to understand.
Editing Your Own Work: 1-2-3
- In the beginning, run your draft first through grammarly and make changes based on suggestions. Next, put it into the Hemingway app.
- Once this is done, update the draft in the light of 11 points I have shared above.
- Then read it aloud to make sure that the edited version sounds alright.