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Author Topic: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader  

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It's a subject close to my heart, as you probably know: knowing how to edit your writing so it becomes a better text and more accessible for your reader.

I once took part in a reading/writing excercise. The excercise was that the whole group read a text and then answered 6 questions on the content of that text. One half of the room got every question right, with an ease that just baffled me. I didn't get anything from the text! I had only 2 questions right, and only because I really combed through the text to find the answers.

Turns out, we were handed two different sheets with text. One half got a well written piece of text, the other (me!) got a piece of garbled junk. I am not kidding. For a good 15 minutes I thought I must be losing my mind. I read the text, yet could not answer the simple questions that everyone else (on the other half of the room) seemed to get right, no sweat.

I apologised for not being able to find the answer to one of the questions, saying 'sorry, it must be me, I didn't understand the text.' I got the best advice ever: "Don't apologise. It is not your job as reader to edit the text. The writer should write and edit it in such a way that the larger audience he is writing for understands it without any effort."

More is not better. Better is the only better. Better is when you take a text and try to read it from a reader's perspective. This is hard when it is your own text. This is why writers have editors. They are not glorified proofreaders: they take the text, read your intention and make it better. This is why writing with Nova and the joint post system should give you an edge over regular forum rp. You have an editor, right there! Listen to them! Be that editor for the other writer.

Is there anyone who is squeamish about editing other peoples texts? Or who fears other people editing their writing? Let's tackle that.

Daenelia

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Information topic
  • Date: 06/12/13
  • Time: 09:46 AM
  • Number of visits: 1857
  • Number of Replies: 6
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Re: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader

« Reply #1 » Published on:December 06, 2013, 06:53:10 PM

Tals

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Nope, not squeamish. If something I'm writing is crap, I would really like to know.

I actually feel better when someone else goes over what I've written to see if everything makes sense. Part of the reason it's hard for me to write solo posts is that there's not another person going over it and making sure that everything within is making sense. I might think it's a masterpiece, but if no one else understands what I'm trying to get out, I've ultimately failed.

I also enjoy editing other people's writing quite a bit; I once thought about being an editor, but the thought of editing twenty Twilight knockoffs was just...ugh. I do beta stuffs every once in awhile. What I do worry about is editing other people's stuff without them asking for it, because I'm always afraid of hurting someone's feelings, as if I'm telling them that what they wrote wasn't good enough.
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Re: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader

« Reply #2 » Published on:December 06, 2013, 09:02:28 PM

Hyren

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I write what I like! I don't care if it's too long!

 

Re: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader

« Reply #3 » Published on:December 06, 2013, 09:06:06 PM

Five

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I will sometimes chop, change and rearrange a post that's being worked on, especially if there's multiple writers, and I'd encourage people to do the same if they feel confident.  It's always possible to make a story out of something even if people's contributions don't always blend together - in that way the Nova system is so great.  You can be left with something that's a true blend of people's writing.

 

Re: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader

« Reply #4 » Published on:December 07, 2013, 11:47:37 AM

Daenelia

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I write what I like! I don't care if it's too long!

We know, Hyren, you keep saying that. To me, that is fine. But then you can't expect me to always enjoy what you're writing. And some of your posts are harder to enjoy because they are harder to read, because you never ever 'kill your darlings'. In fact, you gom out of your way to make more darlings than we can possibly handle!

Again, I know this is how you like to write and that is why I would never ever edit your posts, to be more reader friendly.

I don't understand why you feel the need to enter this discussion :) We all treat you special anyway.

(UNLESS you are kidding and you actually would love some tips on making Harriet truely a character we love to love or love to hate. If you like that kind of editing from your co-writer, hit me up with a post and we will get down to the nitty-gritty.)

To clarify: Editing a post is not just about making it short.

There are many expamples in posts where something is missing the story, a step of logic or information, and that post is fucking long anyway. Just that the writer did not include vital steps in their story, for the reader. Yet at the same time, they repeat stuff over and over that the reader already knows and that is boring. That is why most long posts I read here are bordering on or just are boring.

Tals, I would assume that people who write for Steamhawke are aware of how we work, because we have put it in every guide that you can write for other characters. I would think people understand that includes editing each other's texts!

Don't worry! Just write it as an ooc comment, or point out that something doesnt flow well enough, offer a suggestion. Text can always be re-written, and everyone should recieve a copy of the edit in their inbox anyway.

Maybe we should just do a few posts where we all write for the other person's character. Like ''swap a character'" posts. That should be fun anyway!
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Re: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader

« Reply #5 » Published on:December 07, 2013, 09:21:48 PM

Hyren

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I post in a giant bubble!

I killed Ed! Ed's dead, baby!

I think you find them hard to read out of personal preference, not an innate quality of the post!


 

Re: Editing your text: effort for you, spare your reader

« Reply #6 » Published on:December 07, 2013, 10:42:55 PM

Daenelia

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I could edit the hell out of that post to make it less torturous to read...
My avatar was drawn by Pyrochan, as commissioned by me

 




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