A word is a word is a word – except when it’s not.
Don’t you just love words? Big words, little words, sibilant words, harsh words. Each with its own specific meaning, feel and sound. I love that the writer can lay a pile of words on the page, shuffle them to and fro, toss one here, add three there, line them up, and polish them to a glow, creating a story or article that grabs me and pulls me into the world he has created. The words many writers have placed on a page over the years have transformed and improved every aspect of my life.
As a reader, I am always aware of the jarring words that don’t fit the context of the sentence, the words that don’t actually mean what the author must have thought they did. As a writer, I struggle to select the one best word for what I want to express. There are times I rewrite the same passage a dozen or more times. Editing and re-editing lead me to think more carefully about what the reader is going to take away from my story, honing my focus.
Most writers don’t jump for joy in the face of the editing process. Nevertheless, the smart writer knows the value of working with a serious editor in order to create the best expression of her vision.
If you write, if you love words, let’s chat. Let’s talk about how editing can transform a story from good to enthralling. Let’s transform our words with joy – every change bringing us closer to a published book and most important, a satisfied reader.
Come on back and share what you have learned the hard way – give us the benefit of your experiences with writing and editing.