Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Edit the Crap Out of it

This month I'm participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The theme I'm going with this year is writing humor. Follow along to learn more about the different ways to make your fiction, articles or blog posts humorous. 

I want a magic pen. 

You know the kind.  Bright and shiny silver. Maybe set with diamonds. A couple of saphires and rubies wouldn't hurt. 

Oh yeah, and everything I write with it is witty and brilliant and absolutely perfect.  

Now that's not too much to ask, right? Anyone seen any of these bad boys for sale? 

No? Darn. 

I guess that leaves me only one choice...

To find a magic pencil. Or a magic computer? Ok. I'm desperate. I'll even take a magic crayon. 

OR I  could edit the crap out of my writing. (Although writing with something magical sounds way more fun.) Yeah, yeah, yeah. We talk about it all the time. Editing. Revising. Blech. 

This, of course, applies to all writing, but since I'm talking about writing humor, I'm going to focus on that a bit.

If you want your jokes to really sing, your wit to stand out,  your funny lines to slay your audience then you're going to have to edit like crazy. You're going to have to tear into your writing, mark it up with a red pen and hit that backspace button like it's repeated use of it will make chocolate eclairs and rainbows fall from the sky. 

There’s more to writing than stringing words together over and over. You can’t raise the bar by yourself. And remember: You’re not a professional writer until someone likes what you write enough to pay you for it.

We have to throw up, bleed and cry onto the page.  But we can't stop there. Set your work aside for a bit if you need to. Go ride a bike. Feed your children this week. Take your monthly shower. Whatever. But take a break from your writing. Then look at it with fresh eyes. Try reading it like it's someone else's work. Ask yourself questions like...

How's the timing? 
Are there spots that need to be more specific?
Are there better words or descriptions that could be used?
Does it make sense?
Is it funny?
Are there weak spots? 

Pinned Image
source abaenglish

Now, while I'm wishing for magic writing devices, I might as well wish for a magic dishwasher, magic change-themselves diapers, a magic wallet....ooooh, and magic pants that always look great on me (even when I'm 7 months pregnant.)

Do you struggle when editing your work? Or do you enjoy the revising bit more?


  1. I am a notorious editer. I have to refrain from editing while writing; how bad is that? Some of it is perfectionism, but sometimes it's just that I know that it could be better.

    But a magic pen would be nice. A magic wallet, too.

  2. I could use some magic writing devices too, lol! But I love that thing you posted. Writing all on your own isn't going to make you better, you have to see outside of yourself through critique. Love it!

  3. I love those charts. :D

    I actually love editing, but that's also kind of my day job. I do get tired of it sometimes when I just want the book to be FINISHED, but there's also something wonderful about marking all those pages in red and seeing the book become something better.

    Or maybe I'm just weird. ;)

  4. I want a magic crayon too!
    But I'll settle for my great friends who aren't afraid to help me edit.