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editnig Editing...

Been working my way up to doing my editing assignments. What a wake up call on so many levels! I now understand why this is the last unit students do before embarking on their thesis... Obviously, it is meant to help the writer improve their own writing by being able to rework drafts, but I think there is a second, more subtle, reason for this unit...

TO MAKE THE WRITER REALIZE WHAT ABSOLUTE DRIBBLE THEY'VE BEEN WRITING TO THIS POINT!

Argh, the very first assignment was to write a 2000 word short story draft with absolutely no edits. After submitting that, the student is then given another students 2000 word short story to editing for structure and copy. Then the student must edit their own, previously submitted, piece. Now that I've read what I'm supposed to be editing this other person's short story for, I've realized the story I wrote was just AWFUL!!! Far too much narrative, a slow, clunky start, it's more like the first chapter of a novel, and not even a good first chapter at that.

Meanwhile, I was totally intimidated by having to edit someone else's piece. Especially after finding out the other person was some kind of editing whiz kid (so obviously her piece wouldn't need any editing).

Have just finished reading the short story, and it definitely needs some structural editing and yes, even some copy editing. So, it seems even writers with accomplished editing skills can benefit from a fresh set of eyes.

God help me, I need to do these two edits by tomorrow night!

Comments

Amanda O. said…
I'm not a writer by any means but the assignments sound like a real challenge! I had to laugh at the second reason for the unit though... if masters level students suddenly realize they've been writing dribble, what of the rest of us poor non-writers? LOL We must rate as cave-dwellers pointing and grunting by comparison! ;-p Fingers crossed your assignment has gone well though!
Sif said…
Ah, but you're assuming that in order to get into a Masters degree in Writing you actually have to be a skilled writer...

Noooo, not the case at all. All you need is to "show promise". Rofl, then they take delight in revealing to you just how crappy a writer you actually are, BUT how you COULD be a fantastic writer if you can get your head around all the technical stuff and still retain your sense of imagination and personal style...
HipbubbyMama said…
Do you realise you spealt "realise" the American way? ;) heheh! Sorry, I just couldn't resist the urge to be a pedant and point that out in a thread about editing rofl! :D
HipbubbyMama said…
LOL and I can't even spell "spelt" That'll learn me :D
Amanda O. said…
Sif, well, at the very least that explains several books I've read that made you wonder why people say it is difficult to get published. LOL Good luck with your proposal and cover letter! You've been talking about it (the thesis novel) for so long it will be lovely to see it when it's finished!

Being American and living in the country for 23 years will oddly enough tend to result in spelling the American way. At least it is correct in one of the dictionaries... ;-p

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