Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“I recently started studying editing and proofreading. Currently, this is my main area of focus.”
“Besides writing you mean?”
“I got started with editing because I want to get into freelancing. But I discovered that writing and editing go beautifully together, they’re complementary skills.
Editing helps me become a better writer.“
“Editing involves delving into the principles and mechanics of good writing.
In acquiring the skill of editing, you’re developing what I call the editing eye. This is essentially pattern-recognition. You’re internalizing perceptual lenses [<link; short read] that allow you to see any piece of writing with new eyes.”
“Can you give an example?”
“One such lens is wordiness – using more words than necessary or unnecessarily complex or abstract words.
Internalizing the lens means actually seeing the instances of wordiness in a text, in all its forms:
Filler Words / Stretchers: Words that add quantity not quality.
William persuades by means of logic.
William persuades by logic.
Redundancies: Words that say the same thing more than once.
We share in common a love for reading.
We share a love for reading.
Phony Intensifiers: Words that attempt to exaggerate what you’re saying. Such words strain to appear confident but actually signal the opposite.
I am absolutely confident in my abilities.
I am confident in my abilities.
Thickeners: Words that few people use in everyday speech.
Sarah found the means whereby she could cheat on tomorrow’s test.
Sarah found a way to cheat on tomorrow’s test.