Monday, May 9, 2011

A few things to help writers

I've learned a few tricks about writing and editing over the years. The most obvious is to read the story aloud. Your ear will hear the tangled and mangled syntax, and you'll hurry to fix it.

Another obvious trick is to write a story, edit it quickly and put it away for either a few minutes, hours or days. That depends on your deadline. Then you go back with a fresh eye and catch all the mistakes you missed the first time.

I picked up another trick at a small newspaper in North Carolina. My editor had me read a story forward, then read it backward, paragraph by paragraph. When you read a story forward, you might miss mistakes because your mind fills in the blanks. Read it backward, and the mind can't play tricks on you; you hear the typos and rough writing.

Some people edit as they write — that's me; how could it be otherwise? I'm an editor. I wish I could crank out stories, THEN edit them. Actually, I edit after I write, too.

The best trick for a writer? Find a good editor, like me; I'm available.

Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

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