Ah, the Joy of Editing!   

           There are infinite ways of improving your writing, 

           beginning with basic accuracy, moving on to clarity,

           and aiming for style suitable to your purpose.

           Here are a few small examples that might help you.







































Let's Have a




















Original: contains everyday errors that a word processing spellcheck will not recognise.

You might of noticed, you didn’t get far on life by avoiding a challenges. Surly it is time that we faced up to his truth, we   need to stand up and by counted.


You might have noticed you don't get far in life by avoiding challenges. Surely it is time we all faced up to this truth: we  need to stand up and be counted.




Original: long-winded, too much secondary information over-loading a simple statement.

In the relatively modern history of literary theory and analysis one of many crucial issues is the strange idea of the 'death of    the author', discussed by many theoreticians but defined originally by the French theorist Roland Barthes.


One key issue in modern literary theory has been Roland Barthes' concept the 'Death of the Author'.



Original: vague word choice, sentence structure doesn't create suspense or impact.

'The light went out and a sudden rush came flying past her, she found herself lying in a state of confusion with pain growing     in her head and side and her mind full of fear'.


The light went out. The door opened and closed quickly. Something bulky rushed towards her. Then she was waking,        a heap of pain on a cold floor, confused and afraid.



1. DIRECTNESS, REPETITION, ASSERTIOn. 2. rhetorical question, emotive/imagery

Original: over-long, over-loaded qualifying statements weaken force of opinion.

Perhaps we need to take another look at the standard assumptions about inward investment. If researchers and theorists of economics are completely wrong so often on such     a basic aspect of the modern economy we may not be able to allow ourselves to trust them on anything more complicated.

Edited (x 2): 1. Rhetorical question 2. Emotive/witty.

1. If economists are so wrong so often on so basic an economic activity as inward investment should they be taken seriously on anything else they tell us?
2. If inward investment is a concept beyond them, shouldn’t economists and their obscure arts be ranked along with history’s other soothsayers and charlatans?



2. how do we show characters talking in fiction?

Original: telling not showing.

Doug told Emma that he’d had enough. He explained that things couldn’t go on the way they had been. Emma said she hadn’t realised that Doug felt so badly about their relationship. She asked him if he thought they could work their problems out. Doug said that he didn’t think so.

Edited (x3): 1. Showing not telling, including speech. 2. Realistic voices. 3. One character viewpoint; free indirect style.

1. “I’ve had enough - things can’t go on like this!” Doug suddenly snapped at Emma, walking across the room away from her. She looked down, sighing deeply, then raised her eyes to meet his.

“I hadn’t realised things were so bad,” she said, hesitantly, her face flushed as she struggled to breathe normally. “Well, is this…is it possible we could talk more about it? I mean, maybe we could…”

“No…No.” Doug shook his head. His expression was becoming hostile now. “I don’t think so.”

2. “I’ve had enough,” Doug announced. “Things can’t go on like this!”

Emma gasped. “I hadn’t realised…that you didn’t…I mean, I didn’t know things were so…bad.”

Doug didn’t react.  

“Well,” Emma tried to make eye contact, “do you…I mean…can we talk? Maybe we could…talk?”

“No.” Doug looked away. “I don’t think so.”

3.“I’ve had enough!” Doug snapped. “Things can’t go on like this.”

Emma watched him as he walked across the room. Away from her. Was that it, then?

“I hadn’t realised…” Of course not: when do we ever talk?

Face flushing, she went on: “Well, do…is it possible we could talk more about…?”

His silence was crushing her. It usually did.

“I mean, maybe we could…”

“No…No.” His expression was becoming hostile now. That look that said no, your opinion doesn’t count. “I don’t think so.”

End of story, then. Did it ever really get started?

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