I know that writers are supposed to write, while editors edit. But the more print-ready you can make your writing the more likely it is to be accepted first time.
Here are a few quick-and-simple editing tips I hope you’ll find handy:
- The first thing is to check the length in number of words. You’ll then know whether your editing needs to be pretty heavy, or you can get away with a lighter touch.
- Look for points which don’t make sense. It is surprising how many arguments ‘write right’ but then don’t ‘read right’.
- Look for points which are not directly related to the subject matter. Have you ‘spun off’ into writing about something else?
- Look for points you have repeated without good reason.
- Proof read for mistakes in spelling and grammar. Remember that the most glaring mistakes (eg.there used instead of their) are the most difficult to detect. Your spellchecker cannot detect all spelling mistakes!
- Proof read once for the technical correctness of the spelling and grammar and then once again for technical correctness of the subject matter.
- Finally, check for anything that might have CHANGED in the days (or hours) since you first wrote the story. Make sure your story is as up to date as possible.
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