Monday, January 14, 2008

A Lesson on Editing from Friend Becky

Dear Writing Friends,

When Becky, who took one of my writing classes last summer at ARTichokes Art Gallery, ( called to tell me about her venture into editing, she had such a great explanation of how she went about it, I asked if she would write about her experience and send it to me in an email at ( so I could post it on the blog. I had no idea her message would be so complimentary of me, but, hey, I'm as vain as the next person so I here it is. The point, though, is how you might use Becky's methods. And, thank you Becky, for sharing your experience with us.

Becky wrote:

"Much of writing is arbitrary." "Pre-writing, writing, re-writing is important." "Writing is not competition." These are phrases I heard and copied during the Write Your Story in Eight Weeks workshop presented by writer, Carol Newman.

Recently I learned how important these messages became to my writing. Our church Evangelization Committee asked several members of our parish to write one paragraph on “what our parish means to them” or “what their faith means to them.” I was asked to edit these responses, which were not one paragraph as requested but many were lengthy. I agreed to do this as best I could.
I began by selecting the key points of the response and worked on all sentences to get the general thought on the page. It was a fun realization that it can be done and the thought of the writer is still there. The response was reduced to one paragraph (100 words) and enjoyed by the readers. It is all about editing (re-writing) with the thoughts of the writer kept in the front of me and listening to what they are expressing and make it say what they intended to say using less words.
The staff was complimentary about my work and questioned how I could do such good editing. I give credit to my love of writing and the affirmation I received from Angel in your Inkwell writing classes presented by Carol Newman.

And remember, there is more, more, more at -- updated the first of each month.