June 9, 2006, Newsletter Issue #65: Editing Yourself

Tip of the Week

At some point, you have to step outside your role as creator of a piece and start editing it. You have to think objectively and critically about what you’ve written. What sounds clunky? What language sounds trite or not specific enough? What trains of thought within characters’ heads aren’t carried through fully enough? Where do you need more or less narration, and more or less scene to balance? These are workpoints you need to consider over and over as you revise a piece. You can always make something better. Try to think of your piece as though you were an editor looking at it for the first time. Pay especially close attention to what Faulkner called “your darlings—“ those little phrases you love & expect the whole world will too. They may need to be cut more than anything!

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