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Anyone and everyone taking a writing class knows that the secret of good writing is to cut it back, pare it down, winnow, chop, hack, prune, and trim, remove every superfluous word, compress, compress, compress…” - Nick Hornby Editing your own work can be a tedious task.
That means, walk away from your work, get some rest and focus on another activity for a while before coming back to your manuscript.
If you find yourself constantly deleting and rewriting big chunks of work, or correcting a comma use, only to put it back again, then it might be due time to take that break.
While reading your manuscript slowly from front to back may help spot mistakes, another tip while is to read it backwards. The standard dictionary used by most publishers in Australia is the Macquarie Dictionary.
It may be confusing, but it will certainly help you be a forceful spell-checker on your own, as is makes you examine every individual word out of context. And look out for contextual errors that spell-check won’t necessarily pick up on. Sometimes as writers, we get so caught up in trying to account for our own understanding that we begin to lose sight how our work may be interpreted by our target audience.
The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes.
Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things.When there comes a time when this process discourages you from writing, remember that heavy edit days make great writers! Make sure your personality meshes well with the campus and that this is clear from the essay by using details that connect you to the school.The truth about a first draft is that it doesn’t need to be perfect - it just needs to be written.Even Hemingway claimed that "the first draft of anything is sh*t".The first draft is where it starts, but even after you place the lid back on your pen, or press print – the process is far from over.The end of writing (and re-writing) marks the beginning of editing your work.When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before.If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” - Neil Gaiman There is no magic formula nor set amount of times a work should be edited before it’s ‘right’.When you speak aloud, you’ll begin to hear how your sentences are structured (for better or for worse). All the clumsy, unnecessary words should be then cut out.If you can imagine it, it's like the way gardeners shape hedges into desired, quirky shapes; It’s a long process and takes a lot of detailed work.