10 Steps to Help You Edit Like a Pro

Yes, I did finish The Love of Divena, last book in the Blessings in India series.  And, yes, the loose ends do all come together. Thanks for asking!  

As I did the final editing on the manuscript, I pulled out my notes from my class “Write Tight” to help me.  It occurred to me that you might also find these ten points helpful.

  1. Fewer words are better than more:  Instead of overwriting and going on and on, do the best you can to use the fewest words possible to express the idea you have in mind to get across to your readers.
  2. Use strong verbs:  If you want to say a boy went across the railroad tracks fast, you might say he bolted across, or sprinted, or dashed.
  3. Watch out for weak modifiers:  They are very, very, very ineffective.
  4. Stay away from confusing terms:  Tempted to say, “Extend your synergies by evolving your value-added writing platform”?  Don’t!
  5. Give your verbs room to breathe:  Remember that poor boy who tried so hard to get across the railroad tracks?  Do not have him run really, really fast, like a bat out of hell.
  6. Toss out redundancies:  Make your point, then move on.  Don’t keep saying the same thing over and over again. That is, say what you have to say and then let it go.  Don’t go on and on.
  7. Weed out unnecessary uses of “to be”:  It is not the best to be careless about this, even though there are many people who are being lazy that way.
  8. Get rid of meaningless punctuation:  Because, it simply is not “correct!”, is why!
  9. Avoid the passive voice:  Whether writing a book or an article, you will see that the passive voice is to be carefully avoided.
  10. Hone out clichés:  At the end of the day, clichés might just be one of the toughest things to eliminate.  But you must do it.  If you do your homework, once your writing is in the pipeline you will be all set to go!

 My best on your edits.  As for me, I’m glad to have them behind me.  Though I certainly do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water!

“Is ‘tired old cliché’ one?”

Rod Schmidt, author

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