Sunday 12 April 2020

Top Tips for Editing Your Writing During the Time of COVID-19

There’s a beautiful scene in High Fidelity, Stephen Frears’ 2000’s film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, that I never tire of watching. Facing the camera, Rob Gordon, the character played superbly by John Cusack, shares his top tips in making the ultimate mixtape:
The making of a book, regardless of its future standing in literature’s canon, is equally hard to do and it also takes ages to complete.
Continue reading here.


  1. Self-publishing has become quite popular, but so often it lacks in editing. It's so much harder for the writer to edit their own work. And like the quote says, you better start off with something really good. Opening lines can be the deciding factor in whether I read a book.

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  3. Writing, it would seem, is much like composing music. Jimi Hendrix was dissatisfied with his first cut of "All Along the Watchtower" and spent a great deal of time over three months re-recording and overdubbing guitar parts of it, and mixing it with four- and twelve- and sixteen-track machines. Re-recording also meant erasing segments until he got it the way he wanted it -- the way he could accept it.

    I especially like your point, CiL, that what the reader finds between the covers of a book is the latest draft of the author's work, probably having reached a point where a decision was made that he/she had taken the creation as far as it would go.

    Impressive series .... (took me two tries this time ....)

  4. I'm afraid I had a bit of a snigger at the film quote. The same as you describe would apply to musicals and music performances. You being like a proper writer, maybe you know the answer to something I wonder about? With English you can pull apart a sentence, rearrange it, improve it but it still means the same as the original but reads better. Is it the same when writing in other languages?

  5. Writing is no easy task I can see.

  6. Well, I have never been much of a writer. sooo I hope you are well during the lockdown. :)

  7. You're right. Editing, like housework, is never truly done. We strive to make our writing as good as it can be, but I doubt if a single one of us is ever 100% satisfied with the "final" product. Wait. I take that back. Those whose work is most drastically in need of overhauling and corrections are, quite ironically, the ones who are most likely to send me a note with their manuscripts assuring me that it needs very little editing... maybe just an inadvertent typo or two...

  8. Hi ACIL - writing as a professional must, to a point, be intimidating ... I admire those who do it - but the phrases and words they use are just brilliant. I'd need a lot of learning to write a book ... but I dabble with the blog ... and love reading. We all need to step back from our work and re-read before publishing. Take care - Hilary

  9. The advice about making a mix tape is particularly important for putting together a poetry collection!

  10. I agree, writing is never truly finished. We may think we are done...and then on rereading before pushing the publish button...we cringe!😉
    I honestly shudder to think how it must be for professional writers. All I can deduce is that they must have oodles of self confidence!!
    The composing of a music tape is the perfect example.
    Many thanks.😊😊
    Stay safe, my friend!

    Greetings from Hampshire.

  11. as house wife i got little time to write my post and it is embarrassing that there are mistakes often
    i agree editing is tool to bring thoughts and words in order

    hope you and family are doing fine ,blessings!

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  13. Editing is tough. I find unnecessary words every time I go through my manuscripts, no matter how many times I've been through them before. Another great post, Mario.

  14. Editing to become better writing or material is not easy.
    Need to concentrate the mind well and done when the mind is calm.

    Enjoy your duty, friend

  15. Love the image!
    Indeed, I am learning how to write.

  16. Mario, thanks for sharing this. Editing was often the worst part of any project when I was working. Take care and stay well.

  17. Those are great tips, but... have you joined Wednesday's Words on a Friday?
    I can only join if it´s words from my real life.
    I´m no artist, I cannot write fiction...

  18. Good advice. I have not read or seen High Fidelity, but heard of it and it's now on my radar of a movie to watch.

  19. Åhh så mangen ord!!Jeg syntest det blir vanskelig å følge når en skriver veldig innviklet og avansert..Men jeg er bare en arbeider kvinne lite vet jeg--Jeg liker det enkle..gjerne en psykologisk trhiller..Lett forståelig så en kan gå rett inn i dokumentaren, fortellingen, eller hvordan en har tenkt å legge frem sitt budskap

    Imponerende det du har skrevet og jeg må nok lese det engang til :))Den filmen tror jeg jeg skal finne på You Tube!Elsker gamle filmer!På en måte er dagens trend å gjøre alt hurtigt med masse bilyder slik at en hele tiden venter på det neste og når filmen er slutt har den ikke gitt meg noe som helst..En film jeg nettopp har sett som er lagd på lavbudsjett heter Dismissed syns jeg var lærerik og bra.Ok ha det fint i disse Corona tider!Alt vel til deg og din familie :))

  20. Great tips. There is a different systematics of writing for this situation

  21. Writing is a passion and should not be curbed. But then everyone should learn to edit their own words.

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