3 tips for editing

Summer has almost arrived. One night of frost, but everything appears to have survived, including my tiny basil plants.

It’s 2 weeks until Barbary Kyle’s First 30 Pages workshop and I’ve sent off my partial and received those of the other participants. This week, I hope to review all 9 and leave next week for any second thoughts.

I submit short stories to contests, like the one hosted by Red Tuque Books. Occasionally a critique is offered with the fee, and if I can afford it I request one. It’s a great way to receive feedback from successful authors about my work. How to win is another question.

Dianna Thurban, in a guest post on Daily Writing Tips, details 20 ideas for winning contests. I quibble with #18. She advises choosing to send in paper if the contest gives a choice. I’ve read others who say that those that are sent on paper receive more favourable consideration than those that are sent via e-mail.

I think that is outdated advice. Most sites now are using Submittable or specifically request electronic submission. Paper requires the judge to receive, review and then shred or otherwise dispose of hundreds of pages. The environmental stress of all that paper and ink needs to be taken into account as well.

The Write Life published an editing tips checklist some time ago, that’s handy to have on your desk—yes, in paper—as you start the editing process. I use Autocrit, which identifies most of these problems, but I prefer to check as I go and use the programme nearer to the end of the process.

Another list appears on the Merriam-Webster site. Proofreaders’ marks were a mystery to me until I found this handy document.

Yesterday was our 45th wedding anniversary. The weather was much the same in Kingston that Saturday, a little cool, windy with gusts off the lake, but the tulips were blooming. We were twenty-four years old, a lifetime ago.

That’s about it for this Sunday in May.

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