Editing: Part 1

I have no doubt, that most writing is in fact, editing and re-writing.

Some believe that a short-story, novel, play, poem just pour out onto the page, fully clothed, ready to leap into our imagination. This isn’t true. Never was. Until AI systems take over the world and replace us, I think we can safely assume it will remain this way.
So why is it so important to state the obvious?

It is about the mindset required to craft a good piece of writing.

No writer will produce a piece of work ready for publication on the very first go. So why berate yourself if after re-reading the piece you have written you find that it does not match your lofty expectations? Swallow a chill pill, take some time out and have another go.

There are different levels when it comes to editing and re-writing. Without boring you with banality of the science of writing, I think they fall into the following:

Macro and micro. In general, the macro-level is about structure, the choice of subject and so on. Micro is about grammar, spelling. It is these very different perspectives, the forest and the trees, the big and the small that lies at the heart of re-writing and editing.

Nothing is irredeemable, nothing that cannot be improved upon. Whether a piece of writing is worth spending time over…now that is a good question. Only you can answer that. You have one life, but possibly many attempts within you. Do not squander those chances, but also do not give into the demons of despair who urge you to give up. Those demons may be human, or they may be blaring their hoots of derision inside your head. Why waste time listening to them when you could be re-writing your masterpiece?

Good luck.

ZHZ

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