It is a part of the wring process. It is the part that a lot of people don’t like. It is also a part of the writing process that is very important and has to be done or whatever you are trying to write comes out like crap. With a lot of work being done online, it is easier, but it still has to be done. Editing your work. Getting something written and into words can be hard enough for a lot of people, cleaning up the mistakes is another. So, as someone that does a lot of writing and makes a lot of mistakes, here are some of the things to look out for while editing the work you spent your time putting together.
Spelling is a big one. It is one that gets hammered into your skull from when you were just starting school. Even then, not everyone is a spelling wizard that gets everything perfect the first time. Things like Spell Check and Grammarly are a big help in the modern age, but they can’t solve all your problems. Even when you have to work in pen or pencil instead of typing things out on a computer it is still important that everything you write is spelled correctly. When presenting a written document it looks much better to your reader if everything is spelled the right way.
If you are able to, make a first draft. A first draft where it doesn’t matter how something is spelled, just make sure clean that up for a final presentable draft. Another thing that you can use if allowed, is to just avoid using certain words and use easier to spell synonyms. It does get the point across and hopefully still creates the image in the reader’s mind. It is just easier to get that thought down in the written word.
Another helpful hint is to look a word up online. Online dictionaries help but so can a simple Search Engine. Just type a word into Google or Bing. Often times those places would have a spell corrector to fix those things and you can see the word being used on websites to see them in action. Kind of like how those spelling bees work. You get the spelling and can see the word in action to help further the point.
Past, present, future. Is something going to happen, happening now, or will it happen in the future? It is something I personally struggle with a lot but it is something important to help in painting your picture. Is a cat going to sit down, is sitting down now, or has he sat down? The differences in that could very well change the image you create. Keeping everything you write in the same tense is not the easiest thing to do as you are writing something but it is a thing that plays a big part in what you are doing. Read something back to yourself out loud if it helps to keep track of If what you are describing happens in the past, is happening now, or will happen in the future.
The Right Words
This can be a pesky one as it’s not quite as defined as a spelling mistake or using the wrong tense with a verb. But something else to look for in editing is using the wrong word entirely in creating your image. It will give people the entirely wrong mental picture or the wrong point you are trying to make.
An example I can give is a time long ago when I worked for a fast food p0lace. One of the things I did was place the letters on the big sign out front.
At one point a few others decided the change the sign. A new spicy flavored something. It started with the words “Join the Siesta”. One visit from the higher-ups a few days later and it was changed to “Join the Fiesta”. See why a change was made? The slogan was meant to say “Join the Party” where the one little mistake conjured up the image of taking a nap for the new burger. That is quite a difference.
Editing may be a pain in the butt, but there are some ideas to help make your written project a work of art that gets your ideas from your head and onto a piece of paper.