Well, if you can’t edit your work, who can? No one knows your characters or what ideas you want to convey in your article better than you do. A friend, or better yet a good word processing program will catch many grammatical and spelling errors, but when it comes to content, each writer must learn to edit their own writing.
A case in point: When Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. was considering the manuscript my daughter, and I submitted for publication, the Editor sent me this cryptic email. ” . . . before we offer you a contract, we’d like you to cut 150 pages.”
YIKES!, I thought. One hundred and fifty pages is a not a word here or a word there. I asked the editor for suggestions and received this reply, “There is a lot of repetition.” Again a very vague response, but since I did not want to be known as a problem author, and I very much wanted to be published, I did not ask any more questions, but instead got busy.
Being methodical, I looked at the problem logically. My manuscript was 500 pages long, and the editor wanted 350 pages, thus about 30% of my words/pages must go. I made a chart with four columns. The first column was the title of each chapter, next column was how many words/pages in each chapter, the third column was my goal for that chapter, and the 4th column was the number of pages after my editing.
Some chapters were already tight, I could cut few words, but other chapters received a critical eye and a machete. If you think cutting 150 pages sounds like a terrible assignment, guess what? I had less than a month to accomplish this. But I did it, and Gallaudet Published Amy SIgns, A Mother Her Deaf Daughter and Their Stories. (September 2012) (Buy at Amazon )
Could someone else done this for me? Not a chance. A staff editor at Gallaudet rewrote one of my chapters, changing that chapter from my one-act play into prose. Her voice was not at all like my writing voice. A writer MUST edit their own writing or you will lose your authenticity.
my website: www.rebeccawillmangernon-writer.com
My creative writing blog: www.amysigns.wordpress.com