Seamless Self–Editing––Part VIII

letter writingAs this series draws to a close, I’ll give you a couple practical exercises you can do at home to learn and practice your own seamless self-editing. Cutting word usage in half, and a proofreading exercise will assist you in learning more about how to edit your own manuscript. Because our object is to become “publish-ready.” Click to Tweet #amwriting #publishready #seamlessediting

EDITING EXERCISE

For free lance writers, its clear that the world is changing. In the 1980’s few people had even seen a computer; much less owned one. Now they are on most childrens christmas wish lists. In the 90’s satelite T.V. was a new and wonderous thing – no less than 16 chanels! Now the world wide web has changed our lives to such an extent that the question is no longer, ‘To internet or not to intenet,’ [to misquote Shakespear], but ‘How many Web sites do I need’? Can you imagine life 100 years ago, when there was neither television or radio. Most of us can’t bare to think about it.

Look at the example below and see if you can spot all 35 edits that were made.

          For free-lance writers, it’s clear that the world is changing. In the 1980s few people had even seen a computer;, much less owned one. Now they are on most children’s Christmas wish lists. In the 90s satellite T.V. was a new and wondrous thingno less than sixteen 16channels!. Now the World-Wide web has changed our lives to such an extent that the question is no longer, To Internet or not to Internet, [to misquote Shakespeare], but How many websites do I need?’? Can you imagine life 100 one hundred years ago, when there was neither television nor radio. Most of us can’t bare bear to think about it.

(Taken from Kathy Ide’s Editor’s Bootcamp. www.kathyide.com)

Trimming Your Manuscript––One Paragraph at a Time (5 minutes for each cut)

  1. Choose a long paragraph. Be familiar with its meaning and what you want to convey through that paragraph.
  2. Do a paragraph word count. (example: 100 words)
  3. FIRST: Cut the paragraph in half. (using half the words = 50)
  4. SECOND: Cut it in half again. (to 25 words).
  5. Do you like the 50% cut? If not, add a bit back in, but don’t add all fifty words back in.
  6. Generally speaking, you’re not going to like the second cut as well. That’s okay. You’re learning to trim words from your manuscript.

There’s so much more I could add, but it’s time to move on. Hopefully, if you use these grammar, editing, and proofreading tools, you’ll be able to seamlessly edit yourself to become publish–ready. Click to Tweet #amwriting #seamlessediting #publishready

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