The Editing Process: When You’re Looking at Someone Else’s Work

A few days ago, I posted some advice on how to edit your own work when you get to that step in the writing process. Editing is, maybe unfortunately for some, one of the more grueling parts of writing, and for a lot of us, we might not have the chance to have someone else help us. On the other hand, there are those of us out there whose primary focus is editing–specifically, editing the work of other writers. There might be a few different reasons why you’ve been put into the position of “editor;” maybe you’re friends with the person who wrote something and you owe them a favor, maybe you’re a beta reader, maybe it is literally your job to edit the work of other people.

Whatever the reason is (and I’ve been in a number of those positions), here are some of my personal guidelines for editing other people’s work.

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The Editing Process: When You’re Looking at Your Own Work

This is the first of a two part series; today, I’m going to talk about the process that I go through when editing any of my own work (and that extends to prose as well as essays), and tomorrow I’ll talk about what I do when I’m editing someone else’s work. This might also be a case of, “Do as I say, not as I do,” because there are more of the best practices that I’ve learned to follow, but if I’m in a particular hurry, I don’t always do everything.

In any case: You have written an essay/short story/novel chapter or whatever that you’re going to be presenting to other people–either in person as part of a workshop, for a grade, or posting online for a wider audience. Maybe you have an editor already, which is great, but you’re considerate and don’t want your editor to feel miserable. Here are a few guidelines that I like to follow.

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Unpaid Writing Opportunities

Frequently, I see a lot of people take umbrage with the fact that there are companies and persons out in the world who would rather pay artists for their time and effort in “exposure” rather than actual money.

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