"Writing is easy", said Mark Twain. ''All you have to do is cross out the wrong words."
Revisiting a first draft to re work and re write it doesn't sound like much fun, does it ? It sounds like drudgery and tedium, like alphabetically canned goods.
But it 's not really, because there 's a kind of freedom in it. You 've already done the hard part of settling down the words. Now comes the easier part of distilling it to its essence or, crossing out the wrong words and the unnecessary words and sometimes finding better ones to use.
Revising is an essential part of writing because it's when you do the creative, fun part of writing. That's a way of editing where you get to make some merry. The need to give a first pass at shaping your own work essentially re writing much of it.
There are two approaches to self editing:
1. Developmental editing - experts say "Editing by chainsaw" looking at the big picture.
2. Line editing- Experts term it as "editing by surgical tools" looking at paragraph and sentence flow, word choice, usage, and so on.
EDITING BY CHAINSAW:
* State your key idea as clearly as you can near the start.
* Slash anything that feels extraneous
* Make every paragraph earn its keep.
* Make every sentence earn its keep
* Move things around
* Think of the sentences in a paragraph as a conversation and expand or elucidate .
EDITING WITH SURGICAL TOOLS:
* Trim the words and be concise.
* Shed the obvious
* Cut word additives, cliches
* Substitute single words for phrases.
* Ditch adverbs unless they are necessary to adjust the meaning
* Ditch weakling verbs in favor of stronger, ripped ones.
* Create transition between paragraphs.
* Draw natural connection between paragraphs.