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Posted on September 14, 2011

Very few of us read exactly what we have written, word for word, extracting the precise meaning of the words as if seeing them for the first time. Similarly very few of us write exactly what we think we’re writing; we miss out words, we duplicate common words, we substitute homonyms. Because of these inevitable facts of literary life, Editing is essential.

As soon as you’ve written something, reread it, checking for misspellings, words left out (very common) and for mis-sense (does it actually say what you thought it does, is it capable of misinterpretation because the punctuation is unclear or the reader can lose track of who is doing what?). Then carry on writing, but go back to that passage in a week or two and reread again, making the same checks. Then, when the story or novel is written, do once more.

I guarantee on each occasion you will fresh errors.

I also guarantee that when someone else reads it, they will spot mistakes you have missed. This is why we need editors.

Tags: editing, editors, spelling errors