Handy Editing Tips

Knowing how to edit quickly and efficiently can save you from any wordy disaster. Dealing with everything from spelling, capitals and punctuation to grammar and sentence structure, editing covers everything in writing. Here are a few handy tips to think about when editing your own work. Checking over your spelling may sound obvious, but so many of us don’t check properly. Spellcheckers are great, but they won’t pick up on things like regional variations and world which are spelt correctly but are contextually wrong. Double check all spelling to avoid mistakes. Don’t wax lyrical about what it is you’re trying to explain to describe. Get rid of any unnecessary words of phrases which leaves your writing looking cluttered. Readers loose interest very easily. Keep them hooked with simple sentences which make their point. A subordinate clause is not an editor’s friend. Left out in the cold without any friends, they can cause all sorts of problems. Below is an example from the lovely Groucho Marx.

“If you can’t leave in a taxi you can leave in a huff. If that’s too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff.”

Subordinate clauses can’t stand alone as a complete sentence. They always modify the independent clause of a sentence. Buzzwords can do two things – show off your knowledge and segregate your readership. Everyone in your office might know exactly what you’re on about but outside those four walls its a different story. Will your audience know what you mean? Use plain English where possible to make sure everyone understands. When in full editing mode, it can be tempting to start cutting out words which are actually pretty handy to have around. Don’t change the meaning of the sentence by cutting out key words. If need be, add a few to make sure you’re coming across loud and clear. Replace this:

‘With sales and going down, there is a need for change.’

With this:

‘Newspaper sales are going down and companies need to adapt to survive.”

Stop Procrastinating & Start Writing

If you’ve been given the job of updating the company blog or newsletter even just knowing where to start can feel intimidating. We are all experts at putting things off. When a task looms large in our heads, it can sometimes feel easier to just ignore it and do something easier instead. All writers procrastinate. […]

How to Write Headlines

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My Top Writing Hates

Writing for a living can be very rewarding. Every day you create something new; bringing new ideas to life. But EVERYONE has little bugbears about their profession and writing is no exception. Now it goes without saying that I love what I do… but every so often I feel the need to count to ten. […]