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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Self-Editing, the Andy Way * Part Five * The Final Cut


     I really appreciate the comments and connections with other writers as I have worked on this series.  What becomes clear to me is that Andy shared a great deal of wisdom at Chautauqua which has continued to inspire other writers to try something new in their editing process.  It certainly has helped me.  I am very grateful for Andy and his support and to be able to share this with you.

     I have three more editing tips that I have found very helpful.  The first is to go through your manuscript and rate you paragraphs.  A number 1 means this feels good. A number 2 means not bad. And a number 3 means this has problems.  Looking at the numbers helps to clarify problem areas and make your writing more concise.

    The second process is to lay out all your pages and look at the pacing.  When I do this with one of my manuscripts, I look at the physical form of the story.  Being a visual artist, I can pick out flaws easier by doing this.

    Then, the third editing process is to put a slash mark after each sentence to see how the length of your sentence structure is. You do not want it to be choppy or even, including in a picture book text.  This really helps me to look at if I am using variety in my sentence structure.

    Finally, it all comes down to the simple goals you need to have to make your writing a great piece.

  • clarity & reader understanding
  • concise 
  • flow or smoothness
  • vivid, said with style and voice
     Thanks for following these Highlights Chautauqua Tidbits.  I will see you at the end of October.


Mirka Breen said...

You and Andy are now my to-go-to place when it comes to editing. Fabtastic series, Diane.

Tina Cho said...

Thanks, Diane! I like the slash mark edit. I'll have to try that.

Evelyn said...

Thanks for sharing this series of great editing tips with us, Diane!
Happy editing to all of us.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Great tips. I've never heard of the rate your paragraphs thing before. I like the idea of it, and plan on giving it a try. Thanks!

BarbaraB said...

I'm glad I found your blog, Diane. These are great tips. Thanks for sharing.
I met Andy at Chautaugua in 1994. He had his young son with him.