Editing Creative Writing

Editing Creative Writing-60
), it’s never too soon to get them used to the process of reading through and improving their own work.

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Experimenting with rewriting a piece of work in a different genre is a great way to stimulate your child’s creative juices and improve on their first draft.

‘You could, for example, ask them to try rewriting their prose as a poem, or in a different style such as adventure or mystery,’ says Julia.

The truth is that this process is long and arduous. You can try it for free, and sign up for even more features.

You may well be sick of the story by the time you’re finished.

Sure, writers can — and should, when necessary — hire a professional copyeditor to correct a manuscript before it is sent off to an agent or book designer for self-publishing. Then search for those words and see if you can take them out without altering your intended meaning.

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But the writer knows her material better than anyone else, so she’s the best person for the job. It’s all about understanding the common mistakes writers make, and how to fix those mistakes. Or have your computer read to you using a software program. Take a look at each sentence and see how many words you can cut out.You want to know how to write well, but you might not want to spend hours studying grammar books. You’ll catch clunky sentences, missing and repetitive words, and misspellings. Often a phrase of three or more words can be rewritten with only one. Check to make sure you put commas before direct address in dialog. Avoid using a lot of exclamation marks or pairing them with question marks to tell the reader something is important.On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to waste time struggling over sentences that would be easy to fix if you knew the rules. There’s a big difference between “Let’s eat Dad” and “Let’s eat, Dad.”Speaker tags always use commas: John said, “I hate grammar.” Don’t be deceived into thinking little bits of punctuation don’t matter. You don’t want characters eating other characters unintentionally, right? Let the context and word choice communicate the importance of a particular sentence.And if your child is asked to go through three pages of their own work, they’re likely to give up almost as soon as they’ve started.To get them into the habit of self-editing, start with small pieces, such as the 100 Word Challenge, where children have the opportunity to write and upload their 100 words of writing in response to a weekly prompt.Children are often conditioned to think that their work has to be perfect at the first attempt.But while this might apply to subjects like maths, it’s something to actively discourage when it comes to creative writing: editing as you write is hard work and disrupts the flow of thoughts and ideas.‘It’s very important to write naturally first, and write what you want to write, then edit your work afterwards, otherwise writing becomes a very dull process,’ says Ed.Editing can be daunting, as any published writer will admit.Learning to edit is, however, a tricky process and one that children often see as boring or unnecessary.So how can you encourage your child to master this important skill?

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