Even great writers can’t sit down and spill out a masterpiece on their first try.
That’s why writers use anywhere from one to three hundred drafts. Drafts are like a rehearsal for a play. You write everything down. You figure out what works and what doesn’t. And then you re-write until your piece sparkles.
Here are some of my re-writing tips:
First, read your rough draft out loud. If your writing sounds choppy, then fiddle with the words until the sentences roll off your tongue.
After your work sounds nice, put it away for a small amount of time. I would suggest twenty-four hours. When you look at your writing with fresh eyes, you are going to catch mistakes and you’ll be able to fix them.
My final editing technique is: cut about one third of your word count, no matter how long the piece is. When you force yourself to cut words, you realize how many extra words you used without knowing it. Those extra words act like fat on a nice piece of steak. You need more steak and less fat.
So here’s my challenge. Write your first draft from the heart, but don’t throw it away. Work on it for a few days. I promise your writing will improve in leaps and bounds with just a few drafts.