Editing is critical to writing. Following are a number of quotes, which are used to point out why.
So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads. ~ Dr. Seuss
One of an editor’s major tasks is to make sure that the author’s points are made using the minimum number of words. Excess verbiage clutters up the work like crabgrass in an otherwise beautiful lawn.
Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them. ~ John Ruskin
Another major task is to make sure that the author’s points are clear and understandable. What could be worse than having your audience read a sentence or paragraph and say “huh”?
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~ Arthur Plotnik
So, when your editor asks you to clarify a chunk of text, think about how many “dust bunnies” have been removed so that your readers can see the polished floor.
There are two typos of people in this world: those who can edit, and those who can’t. ~ Jarod Kintz
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~ Unknown
After assuring that the author has a clear story to tell, he or she gets to the technical stuff. It’s amazing how few authors actually re-read their material for simple mistakes like typos or missing words. Most of the problem stems from familiarity. Authors don’t’ actually read their text after they’ve slaved over it for weeks or months. What they “see” is what’s in their minds, not what’s on the paper. That’s why no author should be without an editor. It takes fresh eyes to see the silly errors that end up on the page.
When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest. ~ Stephen King
This is good advice, but it can be challenging. When you fly over the forest of your book, can you spot a small broken branch?
It’s easy to see what to do once it’s already been done. The difficult time is before it’s to be done, and while you’re doing it. This is the difference between writing and editing. ~ Jarod Kintz
This is where one or more outside editors can be invaluable. One job is to be on the ground, checking each tree in the forest for defects. Another job is to be sure that whole forest is healthy. One person may do both jobs, but often, two different skill sets may be required.
I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles. ~ Shannon Hale
This is why some authorities recommend writing the entire work, with minimal editing or revising. That way, the author shovels the words into the book, then can go back and shape them into wonderful castles of text.
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~ James Michener
Some of the best authors through time, such as James Michener and Ernest Hemingway rewrote many times, often rewriting one section 10, 20 or even 30 times to get it “right”!
Rewriting ripens what you’ve written. ~ Duane Alan Hahn
When an author puts her or his writing away for a short while, then goes back and reads it like a customer, the re-writing smooths out the bumps, connects the dots, color between the lines, and so on. It truly matures the material to make the work much more likely to succeed.
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