It makes no difference whether you are a renowned author of best-selling books or a part-time blogger, all written work needs to be edited. Most first drafts are a complete mess of stray thoughts and wandering off into tangents. A lot of written work begins in a chaotic way and ends up being well-ordered and beautifully-organized. This is how it has always been.
The objective of most writers is to save time while simultaneously polishing their work. The seven top tips outlined below should help achieve this two-pronged goal.
Once a first draft is complete and the time has come to begin editing, use these strategies in order to end up with a perfectly-written end product that hits all the required notes.
There are certain phrases such as “there may be” and “here is/are” that take the emphasis away from a sentence’s nouns. Essentially, these combine with other “space fillers” to flesh out sentences. So, look out for words and phrases of this type and learn how to correct or remove them:
The following are a few topics you could consider – A few topics you could consider are:
If the subject has already been described, then it is acceptable to use such words as “it,” “here” and “there.” Look at this example:
“A lot of people like blogging. It is a very good career option!”
In describing things, avoid such words as “very” or “really.” It is better to use words that confidently convey a point e.g.:
Even if it is the case you decide to leave “very” and “really” out before adjectives, remember it is better to tell readers what a given thing is rather that what it is not. For example:
Essentially, strong and highly-descriptive adjectives are vital in certain types of writing.
Be vigilant about words that reduce the impact of what you are trying to say. Where possible, replace words and phrases like these with verbs that are concise and powerful. Here are some examples:
She went to many countries – She travelled to many countries
They handed out complimentary gifts – They complimentary gifts
He came up with a good idea – He devised a good idea.
Nowadays, people read quite fast. In many cases, they just skim without actually reading every single word. So, keep sentences short and concise to make this easier. Read the following sentences and envisage them without the underlined words. Then consider how much better they are.
Although the English language is versatile, it does have a lot of punctuation rules. The comma alone even has numerous rules. Here is a tip from one expert:
Be sparing in your use of commas, but if you omit one and it causes the reader to cease reading, then you should add another one!
Read sentences aloud. Include a comma for clarification if something sounds odd. If you do not, words will all run on together and your readers may have to reread sentences.
Where two noun words are combined so that the first one modifies the next one, this means a modifier is being used. These are helpful because they make sentences shorter. Look at these examples:
Essentially, nominalization occurs when a feeble noun is used in place of a stronger adjective or verb. These sentences usually contain numerous other “padding” words. Here are some examples:
Editing is a process that is easy to become engrossed in or to neglect, but it is essential to present your best efforts at all times. If you have any useful tips, please share them!