Here are some editing techniques given by Debra Adelaide that I have been using since I attended the Write Around the Murray Festival. I have been finding them very helpful, and have even been using them on my short stories. To read more on these editing tips, visit my website.
- Don’t make corrections, just mark it and keep reading.
- Concentrate on adding material.
Other tips include:
- Always work from hard copy.
- Space it generously to allow for endless scribbling.
- Print in another font (so it won’t be so familiar).
- Take it to another place where you normally don’t write.
- Use a strongly coloured pen to make corrections.
Final and Most Important Tip:
- Give your work time: ignore it for as long as you can, then return to it with a renewed critical eye.
In August, I ventured into unfamiliar territory, when I drove down to Albury for the Write Around the Murray Festival.
Earlier in the year, I was encouraged to submit some of my work for entry into a two day masterclass – the first to be held during the Write Around the Murray Festival. This masterclass was to be taught by Debra Adelaide, author of The Household Guide to Dying and senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. To my surprise, I became one of six successful applicants.
At the festival, I was fortunate enough to meet many authors, including PD Martin, Shane Maloney, Dianne Wolfer, Michael McGirr and Dorothy Simmons.
The two day masterclass with Debra was intense, yet each participant made good use of her fifteen years experience as an editor. Before the first day was over, I had a better understanding of where exactly I’m going wrong with my writing. We managed to read and critique the work of others, experiment with first and third person, as well as discuss helpful books to read. In the end we ended up doing a few weeks work within one weekend.
By the end of it all, I was mentally drained. Despite the onset of flu, it was an enjoyable weekend. I met some great people, made some contacts and have a better understanding of where I’m going as a writer.
My advice to you is don’t hesitate in applying for such opportunities whenever they arise. You could be missing out on the chance of a lifetime.
* This photo was taken during one of my early morning treks, just across the road from our accommodation. An idealic setting for writers!
Image by Debbie Johansson.