Add Shine with Revision by Violet Nesdoly

You’ve just had an amazing idea. Like a good writer, you jotted it in your notebook and later wrote about it. Trouble is, your piece didn’t turn out nearly as brilliant as you thought it would. Before you “Delete” or toss your handwritten draft into the round file, try revision on it. Read More

Develop the Killing Instinct Part II: Fine-Tuning with a Jack-Knife — Pamela Mytroen

In Part I of “Develop the Killing Instinct” I suggested writers use a sword to slash a large volume of words and distill the piece into one key sentence. This method slims a piece down to its purpose, allowing no extra fat, which editors appreciate. Only then may the writer pull out the jack-knife to trim the final ten percent of the words. Following are some tiny cuts that add up to several words:  Read More

Develop the Killing Instinct: Reducing the Word Count — Pamela Mytroen

How does a writer keep to the posted word count without losing all those inspired phrases? And why does it matter?

Editors have reasons for setting a maximum word count. Besides the premium of space in a publication, a stipulated word count attracts and creates writers with clear and effective writing. Slashing words from a manuscript is an exercise all writers should practice because it helps them discover their main idea. Finding that treasure gives them a tool designed to slice and dice until their manuscript is clear and easy to read. Read More

The Elusive Comma — Carolyn Wilker

In writing classes, particularly when it comes to grammar, we often get in a discussion over commas. While one throws up her hands and says, “Let the editor fix it,” another asks, “Tell me again where they go.” Read More

3 Editing Tips to Eliminate Extra Words — Carolyn Wilker

You’ve looked through the guidelines and editor’s notes a second time after researching, outlining and writing the article, and you realize there’s one thing you missed, or forgotten. There are at least a hundred more words than the editor wants. Read More