How to Edit Creative Writing for Clarity, Style and Substance
edit creative writing
How to Edit Creative Writing for Clarity, Style and Substance

If you’re not sure how to edit your creative writing, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many writers struggle with this part of the process. But with a little guidance, it’s easy to improve your writing and make it shine.

One of the most important aspects of editing is clarity. When you edit your work, you want to make sure that it is easy to understand. You don’t want your readers to be confused or lost. To improve clarity:

  1. Look for ways to make your writing more concise and straightforward.
  2. Cut out unnecessary words and phrases.
  3. Make sure that each sentence has a clear purpose. If something doesn’t make sense, rewrite it until it does.

Your editing task: Focus on clarifying your ideas. Make sure each sentence is clear and concise. If a sentence is confusing or hard to understand, reword it or break it down into shorter sentences.

Style is another important consideration when you edit your work. You want your writing to be readable and enjoyable. To improve style, pay attention to the way you use language. Use strong verbs and an active voice whenever possible. Avoid long, complex sentences. Be consistent with spelling, punctuation and grammar rules.

Your editing task: Are your sentences too long or too short? Do you use too many adjectives or adverbs? Make sure your writing is easy to read and flows smoothly.

Finally, make sure your writing has substance. Are you driving the narrative forward? In a first draft, we can easily get distracted, add information dumps, or write about something unnecessary to the plot. In editing, it’s time to make sure that your scenes and chapters drive the story forward and that anything unnecessary is taken out. We want to keep the reader engaged throughout.

Your editing task: Check for information dumps and any writing that isn’t driving the narrative forward.

Editing can be a challenge, but with these tips in mind, you can improve your creative writing. Don’t be afraid to rework your sentences – it’s all part of the process!

Thanks for reading! I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know here. If you’re looking for an editor, click here. 

Want to read something similar? Check out the following posts:

5 Things to Avoid When Writing Setting
3 Ways to Ensure Your Novel is Well Paced

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Rachel Grosvenor

I’m a writer, writing coach, and editor.

I know how hard it is to find the time to work on your passion project, and I know you want your novel to be the best it can be.

With a PhD, MA, and BA in Creative Writing, and as a Certified Professional Coach, I’m well poised to help you with whatever issue you are experiencing.

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