Interactive Editing

Writing could be compared with an interactive game. You begin by establishing what you want to say and who your intended audience is. Then, you make a bet with yourself that you really can really write something that will make your audience excited and want to read more. You are gambling with yourself to see how well you will be able to reach your intended audience.

The next step is to sit down, either in front of your computer, or with pen and paper, and begin to record your ideas. This is your rough draft. Once your ideas are down on paper, you can begin to jimmy them around, noting what you want to say about each of your ideas, and then arranging them so that each idea carries your readers to the next one.

At this point, your work has only begun. The original concept might or might not be what you expected. Perhaps, you need to explain some things further. Perhaps, instead of being exciting, your descriptions plod along on feet of cement. So, try various ways to make what you have to say as interesting as possible.

Would a generous sprinkling of exclamation points make your story more exciting to read? The sad truth is that they will not. What makes a piece exciting to read is what you say and how you say it. In fact, it isn’t what you do, so much as it is how you do it that counts, not only in life, but in writing. It isn’t so much what you are writing about, it is how you describe your ideas — do you add some of your precious and unique point of view to the piece? What about your choice of words? The more you read, the more you will see that each writer is unique in terms of the way he or she describes things.

You will find that editing is an art. This is where you look at each and every word, judging to see how many times you have used the same word in a sentence, or paragraph, and looking to see whether a synonym might work better. You do not want to be repetitious, or your readers will lose interest. You also want to make sure the sentences are in the right order and that the paragraphs follow each other in a logical fashion.

Only after you have established what you want to say, and how you want to say it, do you go over your piece for grammar, typos and spelling errors. Generally, you will have cleaned up most of those while working out what you want to say. After three or four edits, your piece should be ready to show someone whom you trust to give it a critical reading. This is where the real interactive part comes in. You are free to take this person’s suggestions with a grain of salt; after all, you know what you wanted to say, and why you said what you did. However, do pay attention if your reader does not understand what you mean in your article. The questions he asks are a good indication that other people will have trouble understanding what you say as well. It means you need to think about ways to express your ideas clearly, while putting all the necessary bits into your descriptions, so that what you say makes sense to your readers. Then you post your article, or send it out, and if it accepted, you have won the prize.

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About Genevieve

Genevieve is a ghostwriter, specializing in memoirs, biographies and novels for her clients, since 2002. She loves her work, Her blog is a hodge podge of whatever happens to be on her mind when she sits down to write. Her essays may be about anything from family life, to politics, to good grammar. Come read it at and leave a message.
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