The reviewers’ memo that will save your sanity

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Managing reviews of your drafts is a pervasive problem. At my talk to PR professionals this weekend, only one person out of an audience of 150 said her review process worked well. Today, I’ll describe a key element of a disciplined process for soliciting, collecting, and combining reviews: the memo you send to reviewers asking for feedback. The reviewers’ memo: an … Continued

Your guide to the five levels of editing (infographic)

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In my experience, a big challenge for writers is the inappropriate edit. You know, the guy who corrects spelling errors in your outline, or wants to rearrange the whole thing during the proofreading stage. In fact, only 32% of business writers say that their process for collecting and combining feedback works well. I’ve written before … Continued

Editing week, Level 2: Editing structure

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You’ve got a decent idea, now write it! If only it were so easy. Poor, uneven, or murky structures can sink you before you’ve started. Today I describe how editors and writers can collaborate on the best structure for a 1,000-word-plus piece, before anybody actually begins writing. What is structural editing? The structural edit is … Continued

Editing week, Level 1: The power of idea development

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Editing is hard. It’s hard to provide useful advice. And it’s hard to take it and use it to make your writing better. This is editing week at Without Bullshit; each day I’ll share my best tips for each of the five levels of editing, as shown in the graphic below. Today: I show how you … Continued

What to tell an editor

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You’ve completed a draft and you’d like a review. This is your chance to tell the editor clearly what you need. Or, you could start with excuses. It’s your choice. When you turn over a draft for editing, there’s always stuff that you worry is weak or wrong. Resist the urge to hide your weaknesses. This is … Continued

To write well and efficiently, choose the right level of editing

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Editing is like going to the dentist — nobody likes it, but you’ll avoid a lot of pain and ugliness if you get the right help at the right time. And you need to pick the right intensity of editing to match what your writing needs; you can’t fix a toothache with just a cleaning. Good … Continued