And I’m spending my day editing like many other writers out there. I’m taking a break to recall some of the things I’ve learned from editors in the past and using the lessons learned. There are so many things we need to check, but here are three things editors have taught me to watch for:
1. Over writing. It took me awhile to see what this was about. One editor said I was verbose, but what she actually meant was I over write. A quick example:
He nodded his head. Vs. He nodded.
She sat into the backseat of the car. Vs. She sat into the backseat.
2. Over used words. Every writer may have their own pet words, and a quick way to check is to use Word’s find feature and see how many time a particular word appears. If too often, then replace with a synonym, or see if it can be deleted completely. Some frequent offenders that most often can be deleted are:
just, then, maybe, some, that, one, ever, very, been, only, real, out, up, back, off, on, start or started, begin, almost, right, such, quite, being, going, got, too
Do the find search, read each sentence it’s found, if it’s needed keep it, however most often it’s not needed to get your point across. It may be needed if a character speaks a certain way and it’s in dialogue.
3. Over use of passive voice. There may be times when a sentence needs a passive voice but it’s rare. Active voice keeps the reader in the moment with the story. So use the search for passive voice by adding it to your criteria in the Word program’s editorial checks, or better yet, check out the Hemingway App which is a program that checks for passive voice like a surgeons knife. Find the program here.
Please enjoy your day, keep writing your stories, and don’t get discouraged. There will be moments when you second guess your work, at those moments remember, we all work at this craft and it will never be perfect. You owe it to yourself to give it your best shot. Enjoy the process.
😎 Keep reading – Keep writing
Coming soon . . .
In The Woods
Murder In The North East Kingdom