Self-Editing, presented by Susan Tuttle

One of my favorite presentations about writing at the PSWA conference was on Self-Editing. I've given similar talks at various places and heard others too. This was by far the best on Self-Editing I've ever heard. I'll cover a few things Susan Tuttle reminded us about over the next couple of days.

Her first reminder was that all manuscripts should be professionally edited before being sent to an agent/publisher--and of course, if you're going to publish it yoursefl.

Once you've written The End, put the first draft away for a week or more. When you get back to it you'll see it with fresh eyes.

Lookfor errors in the ways words are used and strung together, and their meanings in the sentence.

Check of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Watch for passive voice--using the verb to be and combined with words ending in "ing."
Rewrite as many sentences with the word "was' as possible.
Get rid of too many adverbs--use strong verbs instead, and get rid of the adjectives.
Watch out for too many incomplete sentences, dangling participles and misplaced modifiers.
Be alert for misused words and confusing phrasing.
Watch for run on sentences, over use of hyphenated words, etc.
Check for repeated words and/or phrases.
Rewrite sentences that begin with dependent clauses.

Day after tomorrow I'll add more.

She did a fantastic job. I'm just using her handout for this.



Maggie King said…
We can never hear this advice too often.
Thonie Hevron said…
This was a great presentation. I expected to snore but whoo-ee Susan Tuttle covered so much info so well that I was completely attentive. I even copied her hand-out for my critique group.

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