Expect, allow, and accept that every first draft will represent your lowest standard and have at it.

A first draft is just that, a draft with its lack of organization, lack of cogent thought, poor syntax, grammatical errors, typos and spelling slip-ups, and other inaccuracies. So it needs revision, rewriting, spell checking, and more research. Thus, it needs editing. How does one go about that?

Probably the first step is to use the word processor grammar and spellchecker. Then it is time to look at the organization of the piece: Is it logical? Does it proceed to a climax? Are all the sentences relevant to each paragraph? Is each paragraph relevant to the overall theme and topic? Are the facts accurate? Do the paragraphs lead to the conclusion you intended? What needs to be removed? What needs to be added?

Of course, the way it is edited depends on whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and then if it is fiction, what kind: novel, short story, poetry, etc. Each genre has its own characteristics, rules, and reason. Similarly, if it is non-fiction, what kind is it: informational, expository, descriptive, argumentative, or humorous.

Next comes sentence structure. Does it have a variety of sentences as to length and type: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex? Do the sentences contain pet words and expressions? Do they contain colloquialism, slang, idioms, and trite language?

Is the language fitting to the subject matter? Formal, standard, informal, or common or avant-garde.

Finally, the work needs a re-read to be sure it is as perfect as it can be made, that it satisfies the writer?and especially the reader, the first one being the editor to whom it is sent.

If this sounds onerous, it is, but that's what writing is all about-to produce the best effort possible.

Charles O. Goulet has a BA in History and a BEd in English literature. He has written several historical novels that are available at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble, and many other bookstores.

Free Quran in All Languages

Free Tafsir Books

10 Tips on Writing Effective Dialogue

1. Become an EavesdropperListen carefully to the way people REALLY... Read More

Spiritual Journaling

Whether you keep a separate spiritual journal or just want... Read More

5 Ways to Break the Story Spell

You sink back into your favourite chair with a new... Read More

Is The Theme Reinforced In The Ending?

Creative Writing Tips ?By now you should have an idea... Read More

Plotting Problems - Episodic Writing

The rejection letter says: "Your story, on the surface, appears... Read More

An Introduction to Self Publishing Material

Any article, report or book which is bought or sold... Read More

Sick of the Traditional Publishing Path?

A book coaching client recently emailed me that she was... Read More

The Spectre Hound

And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring, and... Read More

The Top Five Mistakes That Companies Make with Regard to Technical Documentation

I've seen it time and again. One of the most... Read More

7 Steps to Successful Publishing

The decision to publish a book is very exciting! It... Read More

Rules for Getting the Story Down

1. Write it fast, fix it later.2. Commit to writing... Read More

8 Advantages to Writing a Book as an Entrepreneur

As an aspiring or an established entrepreneur, you are an... Read More

How To Self-Publish Your Own Books, Manuals, Reports Or Newsletters

You can make a lot of money by writing and... Read More

A Writers Tools

William Faulkner, the great Mississippi writer, said, "The tools I... Read More

Italics Part 2 - Using Italics to Show Thoughts

Way back in your early school years, you were probably... Read More

Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere

An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa. The... Read More

Three 30 Day Journaling Ideas

Here are 3 journaling or diary ideas that can contribute... Read More

Learn How To Write Poetry!

A poet isn't born; you must work at crafting your... Read More

Leveraging Your Writing

A frequent conversation I have with my writing clients is... Read More

Sell More Books With a Powerful Back Cover

Did you know that your back cover information is, after... Read More

Creative Writing Tips - Have You Established Your Main Character At The Start?

In the beginning of your story you have to grab... Read More

How To Build A Successful Freelance Editorial Career

In the current job market, many editorial freelancers have turned... Read More

The Blank Mind

Many writers stare at the blank page or clean computer... Read More

Secrets Of Successful Authors

When the writing bug hits you, get out your pencil,... Read More

Resignation Letters: Dont Let Yours Backfire On You...

It turns out that "tips and templates on how to... Read More