One key to writing well: editing

Emily Temple at Flavorwire has a nice bloggy-style compilation of quotes on an unappreciated part of writing: the fine art of editing. All are great; two are special.

Pithy, but true….

“Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.” — Raymond Chandler

 

And I love this one. 

“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” — Neil Gaiman

We so desperately want to get a completed manuscript off our desk that we forget that it needs to incubate a bit. When we return, our ideas have matured, and those sentences we loved (or tolerated) before, look atrocious.

OK, I’ve procrastinated enough. Time to start editing that manuscript. 

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