300 Days of Better Writing

October 8, 2013

Edit from your readers’ perspective.

Filed under: WritingExcellence — preciseedit @ 12:41 pm
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When you publish a book, it’s the world’s book. The world edits it.

(Philip Roth)

Roth addresses two important concepts here.

  1. Readers will evaluate and criticize what you write. They will judge the clarity, the style, the ideas you present, and the correctness of the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage. Ask yourself, “How will readers judge this?”
  2. Readers will interpret what you write. They will take your words and make their own meanings. You want their meaning to be equal to the meaning you intend. Thus, when you write, ask yourself, “How might the reader interpret these words?”

After you have written the first draft, put the document away for some time. Generally, the more emotionally and cognitively you are involved with the content, the longer you should put it away. Then, when you do re-read it, try to criticize it from the readers’ perspective and ask yourself the two questions above.

This is the strategy for day 101 in 300 Days of Better Writing, available at Hostile Editing in PDF, Kindle, and paperback formats.

For a sample of 300 Days of Better Writing and other books by Precise Edit, download the free ebook.

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