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to edit or not to edit

  1. 60
    allisonaaposted 6 years ago

    In an older post, someone asked about editing your work--can you over-edit? Maybe, but I, personally, think that the dark secret of good writing is tough and judicious editing. Kudos to those who don't need it, but most of us don't write much that wouldn't be improved by a second and third look or even more. A great line about writing from someone long ago--"You must be willing to kill your children." How many of us have stared at one of the most perfect lines ever written in the history of the universe and slowly realized that it just didn't fit? Reaching for the "delete" key.......

    1. sofs profile image87
      sofsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I have had to edit most of my stuff may be not the basic material, I have had to add keywords, new links or even  have had to incorporate a lot of new technical stuff that I never knew existed. The fact is I may not be perfect but I am learning so much so that the editing is much easier now than before.
      I have found that when I have made knowledge based editing it has always helped me.

    2. Teresa McGurk profile image82
      Teresa McGurkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I hope you're saving those perfect lines to use elsewhere! 
      Yeah--that's when you know you are beginning to be a good editor. I was lucky enough to have had a couple of "slash and burn" editors who taught me by example how to stop agonizing and just use what works.

  2. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 6 years ago

    Well I have to say yes and no.

    Yes, I do go back and edit things sometimes, but mostly thst is because I have learned something new, not because I feel the need to rewrite what is there.

    Still, I am sometimes surprised to find a glaringly clumsy sentence or paragraph, so yes, I will fix that.

    I will tell you what is truly an interesting experience though: finding something in a Google search, starting to read it and thinking "Hey, this is really good" and then suddenly realizing that you wrote it yourself :-)

    1. sofs profile image87
      sofsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Wow self admiration!!  Wow I mean to be able to say that for something you wrote!! That must be a real WOW!

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        No, it is just weird.  And it isn't self admiration, because you don't (or I didn't) realize that you wrote it.

        It is just this very strange shock - kind of like seeing yourself in a crowd in a mirror and thinking "Nice haircut" or whatever and then realizing it is you.  It just feels strange!  It has happened to me two or three times and actually has made me laugh.

  3. BRIAN SLATER profile image87
    BRIAN SLATERposted 6 years ago

    I agree with Pcunix but also it is worth editing older hubs because google likes fresh content, so it always best to revist your older hubs and make slight changes if you think it will add to your hub.

  4. camlo profile image84
    camloposted 6 years ago

    I read over my short stories on HubPages a few days ago, and discovered that all but one need some editing - a couple need it badly. At the time of writing, I didn't see it, but we never do until we read our own work from a detached point of view. And this is only possible if we 'put away' our writings for a while.

    "You must be willing to kill your children": Yes, killing off our 'children' always works wonders. Why, I don't know.

  5. bsscorpio8 profile image60
    bsscorpio8posted 6 years ago

    Edit, or better yet, hire an editor; editing can make or break a writer.

  6. Ivorwen profile image83
    Ivorwenposted 6 years ago

    I love editing, especially when the piece started out a bit haphazard.  Often, after something is written, and has sat a day or two, it is much easier to find the real theme of something and to really build the characters.  Then, one can write more and make the final work even better.