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Edit Your Writing Repeatedly

By Lily Iatridis  January 1, 2001

BLOG- scissors"I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil."  ~Truman Capote

Have you finished free writing your first draft, getting all your ideas fully down on paper without stopping for grammar or spelling corrections? Do you have extreme clarity of your purpose and audience in mind? If yes, it’s time for the hardest work in writing to begin -- using the “scissors,” as Truman Capote most eloquently says.

Now you must revise and edit your writing over and over again. Unused ideas, not “bad” ones, get placed in a "to be used later" file. Tailoring a written piece to meet a particular goal takes editing skills that can always be learned. It’s like cutting away the extra fabric pinned to a clothing pattern. What’s left are the pieces sewn together to create a beautiful dress or suit. All you need is the skill and know how to put it all together and create a coherent whole larger than its separate parts.

No writer puts out a publishable piece of work at the first try. Professional writers have editors that review their work. Don’t be shy about asking for feedback on your writing from someone whose judgement you trust.
 

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