Writing Tip #36: Editing Usually Means Cutting Out Stuff
Editing usually means cutting out stuff. Professional editors are often restricted to a fixed word count in order to fit articles into print publications, so their delete keys are well worn. But even if a story’s length doesn’t matter, a primary part of editing is trimming the fat from flabby prose. Unless you have an editor to do the job for you, you’ll have to learn to do your own cutting. Prepare yourself: it will be harder than you think. Some sentences, phrases, even individual words have to be wrested from your brain. After working so hard to produce them, it can be hard to say goodbye to these little verbal darlings of ours. There’s no getting around this, however. Good writing doesn’t waste words. Find the core of what you want to say and scrap the rest.
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