Thursday, August 30, 2007

Be your Own Editor 06

Question: How can I learn to recognize in my own writing the problems you have discussed in your blog?

Answer: Try a ten-minute essay, five days a week, for three weeks. Write as well as you can and send each essay to I will revise and edit with special attention to the problems that I have discussed in the blog. Another method is to try to revise the original ten-minute essays that I am including for the next week or so in my blog. Then check the next day's blog to see my suggested revisions and compare yours to mine. If you notice changes that you do not understand, just ask and I'll explain. I note in bold face in the original ten-minute essay some of the problems that I will revise.

……….Writing for ten minutes, an assignment given in my English Comp. class, was a job I getting into the habit of doing.
……….The words were beginning to flow and I must say -- I really got caught up and could have written and written.
……….I feel forced to write and tend to get a mental block.

Suggested Revisions
……….Writing for ten minutes, an assignment in my English composition class, is becoming a comfortable habit. The words are beginning to flow. I become completely absorbed and can write for an extended period of time. Because I am able to write on any topic I choose, I feel free to express my own ideas. On the other hand, if I feel forced to write on a given topic, I tend to experience writer’s block.

Summary of Revisions: The three individual sentences actually add up to a complete paragraph. Sentence # 3 did not clearly relate to the first two sentences, so I tried to express that relationship. “Writer’s block” seemed to be a more specific choice of words than “mental block,” although “mental block” also describes the condition. Changed tense because the writer seemed to be discussing what is happening now. Eliminated “getting” and “got.” Tried to smooth the relationship between each sentence.

Tomorrow: another ten-minute essay for you to revise.

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