What Makes a Good, Effective Read? Editing Does

Everyone has heard the cliché in real estate: “It’s location, location, location.” Well, in 2021, when real estate is booming everywhere, maybe it’s low interest rates and a pandemic-enhanced market.

For those in the writing profession, it’s editing, editing, and more editing. We know that excellent editing makes the copy sing. Only very rarely does a first draft of anything with words—blogs, white papers, advertisements, or even book-length manuscripts—represent the finished form. We rely on editors and their skill to bring out the best in our message.

Let’s face it: No one among us can write or dictate perfect verse, conversation, or prose. Legend has it that Mozart penned his symphonies as if he was transcribing phrases of a thousand notes that were already perfected in his mind. That’s just not realistic for the best writers among us.

In a previous post, I emphasized that everyone has a story to tell. Whether relating a business case study or a personal anecdote, these stories are valuable currency. However, telling a story well is not so easy. Most everyone can dictate or type out the how, what, when, and why of something that happened in the recent past without too much difficulty. Yet this is not the form that will (1) attract people, (2) keep them engaged, and (3) make it memorable. That is, after all, the reason for writing, isn’t it?

This is where editing comes into play. I like to simplify the discussion by speaking of two types of editing: (1) structural and (2) copyediting. Structural editing takes a broad view of the copy and tries to address the basic question of what really matters to the message and to the audience. It is focused more on attracting your audience and making it memorable. For example, if I were interested in reaching an audience of Baby Boomers, and I wanted to invoke images of the 1960s, structural editing would ensure that I carried strong mental pictures of the Space Race, the Vietnam War, Woodstock throughout the piece.

Copyediting, on the other hand, focuses on the structure of each individual sentence and its relationship to the ones that precede and follow it. Copyeditors fix grammar, edit for conciseness and readability, and generally try to keep the reader engaged through clean messaging and logical flow.

The point is that all writing can benefit greatly from professional editing—children’s books, business communications, annual reports, and even video or audio advertisements. At Revisions, we’ve edited all of these and more, both from a structural and copyediting basis.

Want to ensure that your message will be attractive, engaging, and memorable? Contact us, and we’ll make sure of it.

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