There’s Power in Editing

To edit means to prepare for publication by correcting, cutting, eliminating, and revising.

Mark Twain said, “Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” That’s an interesting morsel of advice for writers, but a writer has to do a “damn” good job of writing and editing before the manuscript even gets to the editor’s desk.

There are some writers who can sit down and write until their fingers smoke. I’m the opposite. My fingers hover and freeze over the keyboard. Getting my story down on paper is as painful as childbirth, but editing my work is like devouring the finest dark chocolate caramel treat I’ve ever managed to stuff into my mouth! It just gets better and better.

There’s power in editing. It gives me the opportunity to breathe life into the words that gawk at me. Editing is the time to change stilted phrases and clichés into something that is uniquely mine. It’s a way to cut, tighten, and revise and then do it over again and again. When the words no longer stare silently at me, but begin to dance and sing for me, I know I’ve taken the first steps to perfecting my masterpiece!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could edit things out of our lives the way we edit things out of our writing? Imagine being able to change an embarrassing moment, a bad financial decision, or an obnoxious comment that tumbled out of your mouth before you had time to shut it. I’m sure all of us have things we’d like to edit from our lives. I’m all for twenty years and twenty pounds. What about you?

There’s power in editing!

Books on Writing:  Writing for Children and Teens: A Crash Course (How to Write, Revise, and Publish a Kid’s or Teen Book with Children’s Book Publishers) by Cynthea Liu (Pivotal Publishing,  2008), The Giblin Guide to Writing Children’s Books, Fourth Edition by James Cross Giblin (Writer’s Institute Publications, 2006), How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published by Barbara Seuling (Wiley, 2004), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, 3rd Editionby Harold D. Underdown (Alpha, 2008)

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