WIP Day 7

7 Oct

A writing tip that has helped you!

This is about catching the mistakes on the page in terms of sentence clarity. Microediting, not macro (content).

When you do revisions, the best thing to catch the microediting mistakes is to give the prose time so you’re not staring at something you are already extremely familiar with. Unfortunately, we’ve all had things that were due and you don’t have the luxury of time.

The best best way to edit your own work is to change the format. Change the size, font, or print it out. Honestly, all of those plus using a printed copy someone else has scribbled on is my preferred method. This usually helps me catch repetitions or things that I thought were taken out but left behind.

An additional step is to read a paragraph backwards. This sounds awkward, so here’s an example:

 

From “The Drawing of the Three” by Steven King:

Nerves, the great oracle and eminent junkie assured him. Just nerves. All part of the cool turkey experience, little brother.

If I were to check it for context, take that paragraph and read the sentences line by line, bottom up:

All part of the cool turkey experience, little brother.

Just nerves.

Nerves, the great oracle and eminent junkie assured him.

What this does is allows me to go sentence by sentence, and ensure that there is clarity. It doesn’t help when there are pronouns and you might need to clarify, but if the sentence doesn’t make sense by itself, it’s worth considering revision.

 

How about you, how do you check your sentences for clarity?

One Response to “WIP Day 7”

  1. Timothy Gwyn October 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

    I do all of those things, plus I read it aloud. That makes any repetition jump out for me.

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