The importance of editing

Proofreading one’s writing is essential. That’s a given. You certainly don’t want eny mistaeks to creep in unannounced, or unnoticed.

I can handle proofreading because I want a potential publisher to be looking at the content of my writing, not at all the errors I have made. Good impressions and all that.

Editing is a totally different matter. I’ve had a creative block against heavy and focused editing for years. Over the last 18 months while doing my Master of Arts in Creative Writing course I have been converted. Editing is an essential part of the creative process for every writer. Now I strive for every word to count. Is it the very best word to use? Is there a better word? Does that word, phrase or sentence convey the meaning I intended? Is the story, poem or article structured in the best way? And that’s just the start.

Editing can be tedious. It can also be very creative. Above all, it is essential.

It was therefore with amusement I came across a blog post recently called How to Edit even Goodlier. The text doesn’t say much, but the 3 videos are hilarious, especially the third one called “The The impotence of proofreading.” Brilliant stuff.

Happy editing – and good writing.


4 Responses to “The importance of editing”

  1. Karen says:

    Hi Trevor

    I might need to do that Masters!! I don’t mind proofreading but find myself at a loss when it comes to the complete rewrite kind of edit. I think I feel like there are so many things I could do to improve/change the plot that I get overwhelmed and simply don’t do anything…and yet I know that’s what makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence. You have inspired me to keep at it.

    Oh, and I hope you’re over your kidney stones. I had an attack while I was 30 weeks pregnant with my twins last year. Not fun at all – especially as everyone (including me) thought I was in labour. Pethidine became my new best friend for 24 hours 🙂 And yes, having experienced both I can say with certainty that I would rather give birth anyday – even to twins!!


  2. Trevor says:

    Hi there Karen,

    Your comments slipped under my radar – probably I was still getting over the stay in hospital! Yes – the kidney stones were horrible. No – I don’t want to experience child birth to compare notes!!

    A few days after I came out of hospital my wife ended up there – but in the next room! She had a painful clot in her leg. Still giving her a little trouble but she’s over the worst.

    A week after she came out of hospital I ended up in bed for 9 days with the flu. Worst bout I’ve ever had. Didn’t get it tested to see if it was swine flu.

    All over now and feeling much better. The last 6 weeks I’ve been frantically working on my novel for children. Wrote the last chapter this afternoon. Hooray – now for the editing stage! And rewriting. And proofreading! [sigh] All needs to be finished by end of November and handed up to the examiner. [bigger sigh]

  3. Trevor says:

    Just realised Karen – you know all of the above anyway since you’ve been following my exploits on Twitter.

    Doh! The brain is not working tonight. Not after 11 consecutive days of 2000+ words.

  4. […] next crucial stage is editing. In this stage I will go back over the whole manuscript, looking at all the fine details of […]