Editing Fundamentals III: Aged


This is the final post in my editing series, (the other posts may be read here, 
and here.)

The last thing I want to say about editing is this:

Let your writing age.

Editing is about perspective, I think. It is hard to have the clear view you need for editing when you have just finished writing something.

When I have just completed a writing project, it seems like the greatest thing I have ever written. But this really is not so. It was usually written quickly in a fever of inspiration, and is probably riddled with typos. So I use an editing technique another writer told me about. I close my word processor and ignore the piece for the rest of the day. For a few days, in fact.

And when I come back to it, my perspective is better. Rather than still being unreasonably fond of my new piece, I am ready to tear it apart, delete, rearrange, basically all the things I've been talking about in my other editing posts.

This process of letting a writing project age has been one of the most helpful things I've learned about editing. Of course, it may not be feasible to let everything sit around a while before editing, sometimes you don't have time. And, everyone has different ways of editing, but this one has always served me well.

What about you, what do you think about letting a piece age?

Comments

  1. That is excellent advice, and something I HAVE experienced, but didn't really realize it!? But that is so very true. It's not in the heat of the moment when it's fresh off the press that I really see anything to tweak. It's usually when I've been away from the piece for awhile that I start getting a healthy critique on. Loved this!

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