Friday Speak Out!: Self-Editing/Rewrites An Important Tool for any Author

Friday, September 01, 2017

by Robin Murphy

You will find MANY articles, blogs, and self-help posts on the Internet or in bookstores, regarding self-editing and rewrites. Everyone has his or her own way of doing this process, and quite frankly I think it should be left up to you, the writer, to discover what works best. Some wait until they are completely done to begin the editing, others do it while they write. Me personally, I edit as I write, and then again, and again, and again after I have completed the novel. The same holds true if you are writing a non-fiction article.

Some despise this process, while others love it. I happen to fully enjoy editing. It gives me comfort in knowing I’m making my story better, and it allows me to change my mind anytime I wish. Which is what writing is all about, right? That complete freedom to change, add, or delete anything you want within your story.

I feel that editing is the most critical part of the writing process. There isn’t a magic number of times to re-read your story, but I was told to re-read my story until my mind squealed and then put it away for a week or two and come back and read it again.

Another option is to read your story out loud to yourself and if you slow down or stop when you’re speaking, you can be rest assured that’s a sign of something being off base or not quite right.

I’m an author on a budget, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to pay for a professional editor to edit my stories. There are many who say to join a critique group to read/edit your story; this can be okay, as long as they are genuinely sincere in your success. For me, I use some family members. After all, they’re readers, and are comfortable in telling me there’s either an error, typo, or something doesn’t make sense. You have to be able to receive this constructive criticism. We authors hold these stories close to our hearts, but you need to have a thick skin because what I’ve discovered over the years is that most of the points my family have made…have been correct, or a point of view I hadn’t seen for myself.

However you choose to have your article/story edited, please do it to an inch of its life, because after all, an editor of a magazine or publishing company is going to expect it to be at that professional level.

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Robin Murphy is an Amazon best selling author. She is a paranormal mystery and travel writer; a speaker on author platforms, self-publishing, and marketing, and the sole-proprietor of Rookie Writers Solutions. She has also worked in the administrative, graphic design, desktop publishing, writing, and self-publishing arena for more than thirty years. Her wide range of skills and abilities place her at the top of her field. Robin is currently an executive virtual admin and freelance writer.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Robin--I'm like you. I can't afford the services of a pro, so I have to make do. I am fortunate enough to belong to a great critique group, since I don't have family members--like you--who are willing to read my stuff.

Good luck with your future writing, and thanks for posting.

Murph said...

Thank you! I'm glad you have a critique group to share your works. Those are so hard to find, so you are very fortunate! Good luck with your writing also!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Helpful post, Robin! I love hearing how bestselling authors like yourself revise. I totally agree with you, and don't know what I would do without my editors, and my writing group. Feedback is so essential.

Murph said...

Glad to help! Yes, you need those 3 and 4 pairs of eyes to complete your story.

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