Edit to Improve Your Writing

Image result for the red pen

So I was asked by a reader recently how editing makes you a better writers.  I need to break this down into three areas: the skill/craft of writing, creativity, improvement techniques.

The Skill/Craft of writing

Editing, improving, and re-writing are all skills I have had to learn. As a person with mild dyslexia, spelling is a real problem for me. Also, in common with most people, I find it very difficult to spot my own errors. Becoming aware of these issues is the first step in over coming them.Image result for writing better

As a writer, you develop ways/processes to mitigate the errors in your writing: You learn to edit, to proof read, to spell check. Technology is a huge help in this regard. However, you also need to accept that if you are serious about writing, the skills and opinions of others are also useful tools that can be employed in creating a better product.

Creativity

Image result for free flow writingI have learned that to truly and freely create, I need, to a large extent, to ignore spelling and grammar. In particular, I need to ensure that considerations about spelling, grammar, story structure, dialogue etc, do not get in the way of the creative process. My first draft is never going to be accessible to others so why worry about these things.

All, errors, correction, alterations, amendments and additions or deletions will be taken care of in the different rounds of the editing process. One key lesson I have learned is this: there is nothing that cannot be re-written or re-worded at stage in the editing process. Very few sentences, or even thought, from my original first draft will make it through to the final edit without being re-written, re-worded, or re-structured at least twice.

Improvement techniques

Related imageI find the best way to improve my own writing/editing/crafting/story writing skills is to constructively comment on other people’s writing: at it’s simplest, three things I liked about your writing; three things I might have done differently.

A platform such as Wattpad or another writing platform, where people are actively looking for suggestions and feedback, and who are prepared to feedback on your own writing would, be more accommodating and conducive to the improvement of your writing/editing skills.

I find it amazing, just how much I learn about my own writing, simply by providing positive feedback on other people’s writing.

Hope this helps,

Nick

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