25 ways to tighten your writing

Here are editing tips every writer can use to de-gunk copy, essays, even emails.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Writers rarely spit out their best copy on the first draft. (If you meet a writer who claims to have the secret for doing so, please let the rest of us know.)

First drafts—and second and sometimes third drafts—exist to hash out your ideas on paper. After you’ve revised your book, story, blog post, or article until you can revise no more, you just hand it off to your editor to clean up, right?

Well, that’d be ideal, but most of us don’t have the luxury of hiring an expensive editor to review our personal blog post. Because procrastination is the writer’s best friend, you probably don’t have time to even ask a fellow writer pal take a quick peek for errors.

So it falls to you to be your own editor. Is it really possible to edit your own work when all the words you just finished writing are so precious? Yes, it can be done—and for the sake of making your writing stand out, it must be done. Grab your red pen, pull up your most recently saved draft, and get to work with these 25 tips to tighten your own copy.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.