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EDIT OVER AND OVER AGAIN
We Write For a Reason
We brainstorm ideas for an interesting story. We take time to research different aspects of our subject matter. We take notes. We make outlines. We write a rough draft. Now is time to put the story in an orderly fashion to make it flow easily from one thought to the next. From an astounding beginning to a conclusion of after lasting power the story must keep the interest of the reader. Can we do this if we can’t take time to read back our own written word? I know we can’t. The key to success is presenting a written piece that not only is interesting but is free of errors. The best of writers are not error free with their work. You’ll find a word misused or misspelled. You’ll see a period where a question mark should be. You’ll see words missing from a sentence. And you may see typos. But these writers know the importance of editing and revision. Many not only do their own editing but they also rely on others to edit their work before publication. The reason for this is because critiques are numerous and poor reviews are the author’s worst nightmare. How can one sell their work if noted for mistakes in what they do?
What I Know
I am not an expert and the time I take revising my own work often is not enough. I know by taking a couple of writing courses and writing stories and articles online for only a year does not qualify me to advise others as they should be. But in this past year I have learned more tricks of the trade than I ever thought I would. I’ve met and learned from other writers. I’ve been advised of things they feel important in this field. The exposure of writing online outweighs any other sources in this era we live in. Now the writer can make their presents known to people all over the world. Snail mail submissions and typewriters are becoming a thing of the past. The computer and the internet are tools every writer should take full advantage of. With all the software available to warn us of spelling and grammar errors why are people not editing their work? Why are they not reading their work to revise things the software missed? Yes, this software does not catch everything. People who depend on the software a lone to catch their mistakes are in for disappointment. It is very important to edit your work through your own eyes. Read it, edit, save it and sit on it for awhile. You may be surprised that something got missed. Most likely it did. Maybe a typo, misspelled word, missing word or grammar mistake is still there. If you’ve published it already on a website, it can still be fixed, and it should be once you notice it. I have had to edit over and over many pieces I’ve published online. It’s so embarrassing to me when I notice I missed a spelling error and people I know have read my work. I want to be a good writer. I want to make a career of this field. I want exposure now to let people know I’m working hard on this passion I’ve put on hold for way to many years.
As I Read
As I read online publications I can tell those who are serious about their work from those who don’t care what they put their name on. Websites like Hub pages depend on their writers to furnish them with articles their venders will be proud to place their ads on. Even the best of keywords are not going to do that by themselves. How are we to keep the reader on our page if it’s full of typos and errors? How can we expect our audience to guess what we’re trying to tell them? I know I don’t stay on pages like this so I certainly don’t expect my readers to leave me good comments on my hubs or my fan fiction stories if I didn’t take enough pride in my own written word to keep them focused.
One Pen at a Time
I know this article is another one of my rants of thoughts, but to help new online writers publish work they’ll be proud of I feel I need to express how important it is to revise their work. I want to be proud of my work. I want to improve as I go. I’m learning in order to do this I must write every day and publish something somewhere to get an audience. I often publish things still in the revision mode. But I do go back and read my own stuff just to see if I missed something or if I still feel the same way about what I was trying to express. A writer is only as good as their last written piece. And a good writer is their own worse critique. Let’s try one pen at a time to keep our online publications error free.