I’ve been a writer and an editor for most of my life. Of the two, editing is easier – looking at a piece of writing and seeing what it needs, rather than producing something worthwhile from scratch.
I’ve learned a lot about editing from other editors, but I’ve also learned a lot about writing from them. Here is some advice, primarily about writing for magazines, which is where I spent most of my career.
Every piece of writing needs editing. Without exception. There is nothing that cannot be improved. I don’t care if you’re Hemingway (who said, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”). Many times pieces of writing don’t get the editing they need, whether because the editor is too lazy or the writer is too famous. I cringed when I heard that an unedited version of Stephen King’s The Stand was going to be released.
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