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Friday, December 14, 2007

How To Edit

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

The usual practice, for writers, is to go
over their work. Yes, the editing process.
It takes time, and should be done several
days after completion.

"Why several days?" You asked.

The longer the project, the more time
you need away. It allows you to come-
back refreshed, and better able to spot
errors.

Start your next article, essay, novel,
or non-fiction book. Call the people
you wanted to, but couldn't squeeze out
the time for.

Read out-loud, each sentence, slowly.
Did you use action verbs? Action verbs
show someone stalking, arguing, doing.
It depicts a problem exploding, or about
to.

Read over the two examples.

Paul bashed the door in.
Paul did more than open the door.

Sally chased down the thief.
Sally didn't just run after the thief.

Action verbs leave no question as to
what happened.


Words that end with ing should
be a last choice. They present less
than a sharp picture of what happened.

Your job, as writer, is to bring vivid
images to mind using, your tools, words.
Some emotion should come over me after
reading your work.

Writers are required to tickle the senses.
The sensation may not be pleasing. The
idea is to invoke some response, which will
keep the reader page-turning to the end.

Make sure all boring sentences are removed.
Take a look.

The boy saw a dog, and he jumped on the car.
The pit-bull showed his teeth before running
after him.

The second version.

The boy's eyes became as large as half-dollar
pieces after seeing the pit-bull. The dog's
lips parted in anticipation of the hunt.

The example is simplified, but makes the
point.

Is your title funny, thought provoking,
mysterious? The title's job is to
catch the reader's eyes. It sparks the
desire to learn, read on, or to find out
what it's about.

Check for run-on sentences, like the
following.

"I called Bill for the remaining balance
but he wasn't there couldn't recognize
the voice of the person who answered
the telephone."

The re-write.

"I called Bill for the remaining
balance. He wasn't there, and I
couldn't recognize the voice who
answered the telephone."

Here is a common mistake, at least,
for me.

"I ccalled him too."

I've, often, double typed a letter,
and didn't see the error until editing.
Again, I distanced myself from it, came
back.

Write like you talk. Try to look at
your work with an editor's eye.

Are you using the same word over and
over? Before stuffing a word in too many
times, consult the thesaurus.

I looked up the word, provoke, for example.
The thesaurus list the following words
that can be used in place of provoke. The
words are: anger, annoy, gall, insult,
inflame, and bug.

He provoked Sam. Sam tried to punch him
because he was provoked. I had never seen
him so provoked. He provoked Sam with a
broom.

I'll re-write it.

"Thief!" John yelled at Sam. "Thief!"

"I ain't steal nothin'!"

"Everybody know it was ya."

Sam leaped across the floor to punch John.
Sam was so annoyed his face turned red.
I've never seen Sam so inflamed.

John grabbed a broom, which added more
insult.

John broke free, scurried away.

Editing your work is the final step
of writing. It is where every sentence
must earn its space. Strong writing
that brings vivid images to mind, life,
is the goal.

It is not uncommon for a project to
take more than one editing.

The title as well as the body should
grab the eyes, be inviting, invoke an
emotion, and hold the reader's
attention to the end.
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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.


She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.


She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.


Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.


Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/marcellaglenn.



Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
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Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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