Why Write? Part six

If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:

With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.

I am now going to change the system. In future you will not send in submissions, but I will publish my version of the assignment a week later and that way you can compare what you have done with what I have written.

If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started.

By now you have written an essay on any topic, using the introduction, core of story and conclusion, system, having written anywhere between 1000 and 1500 words.

A brief reminder here: I am teaching you how to write for your personal pleasure, nothing more. There are many other types of writing, for example: Business Writing, Writing to Earn Money. This course does not cover these types of writing.

This is not to say, that when you have released your trapped creativity that you will not be able to use your new found skills to business write or earn money. It is just not the goal of this course.

A caution here, for those who are writing with the use of word processing software; make sure that you set up a folder, specifically for this ‘Why Write? Course.’ Save each assignment under a title and file it in the Why Write folder. Failure to exercise solid discipline with filing, can lead to loss of, sometimes, hours of your work! Be diligent please and form effective filing habits early in your training.

Today, we are going to start looking more closely at the editing of your work.

Up to now I have been driving home ‘just write’ and pay no attention to spelling, grammar etc. My reason for this is to release your creativity. If we continued in the vein, we would end up with  excellent creative work that would have grammatical and spelling mistakes, which means that you and your readers are going to be put off track in terms of what you have created and end up focusing on your grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Most word processing software, have spell checks and grammar guidance today and this is a huge help. Whilst I do not always accept other person’s views on writing rules, believing in maintaining my own unique style. In any language, with grammar and spelling we are governed by rules. You and I are advised to follow these rules for now. Once you become a best-selling author, you may be able to bend the rules in favor of creative expression. An excellent example of this is the American author, O Henry.

He liberally uses colloquial speech, which clearly his readers understand and love. For the moment, you and I must abide by the rules, however.

Your spellcheck will assist you in terms of your spelling and might also offer limited assistance from a grammar perspective.

You will find a goodly number of grammar checkers here.  

Just be cautious with the ‘free offers’, some of these are not ‘free’ at all!

My feeling about editing, and proofreading is that this is a science. I find that no matter how many times I check an article – I find mistakes! You have two choices here: find someone with this skill to edit your work or go over and over your work until you are satisfied.

For this week’s assignment, write 750 words on one of your 50 topics from our previous exercise. When you finished, start editing. With each edit write down how many mistakes you find. Edit your article eight times, each time recording the mistakes.

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