Reply To: THIRTY Final Polish – Editing Tips

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Zara West

Two things I frequently do is not put the closing quote at the end of dialogue and I’ll put a closing quote at the end of a sentence that’s not dialogue. I know I have to watch this when editing/proofreading. My big problem is that if I get too involved with the story while supposedly editing/proofreading, I miss instances of these to problems. I continually have to pull back when I’m proofreading and try to stay what I call “superficial” or “on the survface” and not get too involved with the story.

Well, here we are at the end of the workshop and I feel kind of sad. I got such a lot out of this workshop and really looked forward to each lesson.

Hope we’ll “see” each other again maybe in another workshop.

Aloha from Honolulu (yes, I live in Hawaii and it’s wonderful),


Hi Jeanne,

I miss the same things, especially that ending quotation mark. And the digital editors always miss them! Luckily my partners in the FTHRW critique group usually catch them all.

One way to avoid the story getting in the way of editing is to work backwards starting on the last page. Putting it aside for a time to rest and get yourself fresh eyes helps too. Another method, that is time consuming, but works, is to read it aloud, saying the punctuation as words. In fact, for me, reading aloud works best for editing.

I have enjoyed meeting you and answering your questions. Questions always make a course richer as they make me think of things I forgot to put in the lessons.

I am very envious of you in Hawaii. It is 10 degrees here, and a snowstorm is coming.



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