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Lesson 14: Editing is Key


  • To know the fundamentals when editing a story
  • To understand how editing helps when improving a story or piece of work
  • To know the common problems that arise when editing a piece of work

Quick Navigation through the Lesson 14:


When a writer creates a story it is always a common staple in the work process to edit ones work. Editing means that the writer fixes his/her work, he/she changes a few things in the story that help organize its structure. When a writer edits his/her work he/she checks for wrongly spelled words, sentences that need to be paraphrased, vague statements etc.

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How Editing Helps a Writers Work

A writer’s work can benefit from being edited because it helps clean up the story, making it more presentable to submit to publishers or producers. That is the main benefit of editing ones work it makes it more structured and organized. Listed below are more benefits a writer can get when he/she edits his/her own story.

  • It corrects misspelled words
  • It checks for grammatical errors
  • It helps remove clutter
  • It makes the story look more professional
  • It improves the quality of the work

 [WpProQuiz 89]

How to Start Editing

Writers do not immediately edit the stories they are creating. They let the ideas come out, write them, ask others for feedback and just after that, that’s when they start to edit. Listed below are ways that can help a writer when editing his/her work.

  • Do not write and edit at the same time

Editing a simple typographical error while writing is ok some writers cannot help it. But if the writer edits a whole paragraph while writing it can sometimes hinder him/her to let the ideas flow. As much as possible it is not advisable for writers to write and edit at the same time.

  • Take a break

It is advisable for a writer to take a break before editing his/her work. By taking a break the writer refreshes his/her mind helping him/her to edit the work better.

  • Try to see the story in a different format

Often times, a writer can spot errors more when he/she tries to look at the work in a different format. If the work is being seen from a computer screen the writer can try to print it out to get a new perspective.

  • Start going through the content or structure first

When writers edit their work they must keep in mind to edit content first before revising each sentences that maybe is just grammatically wrong. By seeing the bigger picture first and correcting it the rest of the parts will be easier to correct.

  • Try not to overwrite

A writer must try to remove some of the words he/she used in the story, like words that are used to much should be removed so as unnecessary adjectives and the like.

  • Check for typographical errors

Writers must use their own eyes to look for misspelled words. And it doesn’t hurt to use spell check as well.

  • Try to Read the story slowly

When writers create a story they become too familiar with what they are writing about that sometimes errors get passed them. By trying to read the work slowly the writer can go through the piece better surely.

  • When you’re done, you’re done

When the writers don’t have anything to edit anymore then that means the work is done.

 [WpProQuiz 90]

Common Problems when Writers edit their work

  • They stick to the idea that they love

A statement or an idea that is not connected with the story should be omitted even if the writer is madly in love with it. Unnecessary statements even if it is good should be removed.

  • They are clouded with thoughts

When writers have too much going on inside their heads, they get distracted. And a writer cannot edit properly when he/she is distracted. It is better for him/her to take a break first and when the brain is calm they can continue with their work.

  • They don’t read aloud

Besides writing a good story the writer must also see if the story sounds good. When a writer reads aloud he/she can catch sentences and phrases that need revising.

  • They forget to re-outline

When writers are too engrossed with how their stories are they forget to re-outline or re-map their stories after editing. If they do not outline the story will be disheveled leaving everybody confused.

  • They forget to think like a reader

Writers also need to take into consideration the readers and viewers who will be seeing their work. They must remember to edit in a way that will also please the audience of the story.

  • They rely on spell check too much

Spell check isn’t always correct. As soon as the writers understand this and trust their eyes more they will be able to edit more thoroughly.

[WpProQuiz 91]

In conclusion, the lesson helps you understand what editing is and how it can help a story or piece of work. You will get tips and pointers on how you can edit your personal work. When you create your very own story always remember to edit until you feel that there is nothing to edit anymore.

The next lesson will teach you how to overcome writers block. Writers block is one of the many problems of a writer. When you have writers block you are basically stuck at one point in the process of creating your story. Read the next lesson to give you more ideas about writers block.



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