Arghhh Edits

Finishing a manuscript is a milestone but … Some may hate me for saying this: it’s just the beginning! Excellent writing is a combination of a shrewd eye, clear communication and a lot of honing. I struggled with this concept for a long time.


At the library, I found a book on editing, epiphany … ‘Edit is a Four-Letter Word,’by Glynis Scrivens. With some trepidation, I began to read. To my surprise, I found it engaging and very informative. Scrivens emphasises that good writing is no accident.

Polish your work to a high gloss finish, if you want to be taken seriously.

Undoubtedly writers love words. Our role is to ensure the reader loves our words, is entranced by our magic and can’t put our story down. Sharing a story is the main reason why writers have three close friends, the computer, google and word.

Using the wisdom of well-known authors, literary agents and editors, this book gives sound and practical advice.

‘Reread and nibble away at what sounds clumsy.’

‘Maximum impact with minimum words.’

These ideals become real by revising your manuscript. Many authors profess to review their work a minimum of eight times. Professional editorial help is vital. We all get close to our stories, losing perspective. Try not to be sensitive to critique but listen and see if there might be a hidden truth behind the words. Can the writing be reworked? Would it be better if you did?

A manuscript assessment will give you a solid review of your work outlining valuable changes. Writers Victoria offers this service at a reasonable cost. Edits hone moving from broad to fine detail. Types of edits:

  • Substantive editing is at the scene and character level
  • Line editing is at the paragraph and sentence level
  • Copy editing is at the word and punctuation level
  • Proof reading is the final double-check of copy editing and format

Stand out points that Spoke to me:

  • Is the opening hook strong? And does each chapter end with a hook?
  • Alter point of view in a natural break or lull, to avoid confusion.
  • Is time and space clearly identified?
  • Is your setting strong enough to be a character?
  • If it’s hard to read out loud – change it.
  • Does each paragraph have one pizazz aspect?

Kindly share a stand out point you have embraced into your writing.


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