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editing revision-tips

Editing/Revision Tips

* Make notes on your hard copy (I like to use a red pen and highlighter).

* Read your work out loud.

* Use contractions wherever possible.

* Vary sentence structure and length. Stress important points with short or fragmented sentences.

* Vary paragraph length. Create/leave white space every so often to increase the pace and give the reader a visual break.

* Begin and end scenes and chapters with a hook.

* Repetition ?

* Identify and rewrite crutch words or phrases.

* Do not repeat information.

* Avoid qualifiers where possible, use them sparingly if you must – Actually, finally, really, in fact, almost, very.

Example #1. Change very important to critical, crucial or central.

Example #2. Change really angry to outraged or furious.

* Avoid lazy suffixes ness, ize, ly.

* To be verbs are often over used am, is, are, was, were, be, being. Use descriptive, powerful, active verbs instead.

Example: The purpose of the report is to provide a means of comparing production values from different times of the year.

Change To: The report compares production values from different times of the year.

* Remove the word “that” wherever possible.

* Write clearly, don’t sound like a politician.

Example: The income derived from oil and gas revenue will be allocated to revitalizing the province’s infrastructure.

Change to: The gas tax will pay for highway repair.

* Make sure you’re using it’s correctly. This word is commonly misused. It’s = it is or it has. Its = ownership.

* Watch for overused words, phrases and cliches.


Drastic action

Back burner

In no uncertain terms

Reliable source

Viable alternative

* Check out the Plain English Campaign website for free lists of cliches, overused words and phrases and examples of plain English writing: http://www.plainenglish.co.uk

* Numbers figures or words? In fiction all numbers are expressed in words.

* Correct usage of abbreviations for titles:

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of England

Abbreviation: HRH., Queen Elizabeth.


Julie Rowe
Julie Rowe has written fifteen books in nine years. She is primarily focused on writing medical romances. She's also a published freelancer with articles appearing in The Romance Writer's Report, Canadian Living, Today's Parent, Reader's Digest (Canada) and other magazines. Julie is an active member of RWA and its subchapters, Heartbeat RWA, Calgary RWA and KOD. Julie serves on the RWA Membership Committee and coordinates Book In A Week programs for Heartbeat and Calgary RWA. Julie enjoys teaching and volunteering. Visit her at www.JulieRoweauthor.com

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