Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding your inner editor

I was just looking at a writer's blog and was interested in an entry on editing.

This young man talked about how editing fascinated him, how he was surprised at its importance in the writing process.

Sadly, I also noticed the writing, and my editor's eye caught a few things. He said that "writer's need to read." Yes, writers need to read, not writer's. Same with author's. That's possessive.

He loves "very." He said that the story is "very intimidating." He said that editing becomes a "very intricate task." Can something be mildly intimidating or a little intricate? To me, intimidating and intricate are like unique. Something can't be very unique or mildly unique; if it's unique, it's one-of-a-kind. If a pit bull is intimidating, it's intimidating; no very needed. (One other thing, I don't think editing is intimidating; it's part of the process.)

This may seem picky, but you don't need to capitalize Elementary school, unless it's the first word of a sentence or you're talking about a specific elementary school. Otherwise, it's just an elementary school. Why do I bring this up? A good editor at a newspaper, magazine or book-publishing house would make the change. Why wait? Make the change yourself.

Overall, I like this guy. He pushes writers to read — excellent advice. He has a ton of potential as a writer, and he's thoughtful.

But he needs a good editor.

(NOTE: If you find an error in this blog, good for you. Unfortunately, I don't have an editor. Only me. It's hard for a writer to find all of his own mistakes.)

LINKS: On my web siteI have links to some of my stories online.

WRITERS' GUIDELINES: If you want to write for magazines (or book publishers), check out the writers' guidelines on my Freelance Writers and Editors group on Yahoo!

CHECK IT OUT: You might look at Funds for Writers, which specializes in grants for writers.

CONTACT: Reach me at or

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

Entries from The Dog Blog

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

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