HOLD THAT ARTICLE! (OR 5 TECHNIQUES TO EFFECTIVE RE-WRITING)
Hold it! Don't send that article! Not just yet!
You may think you're through writing your article and that it's
now ready for publication. But after the writing, you're not
You might not know it, but you can prune down that 750-word
article you've just finished into one that's only 500 words or
And guess what?
I bet the short version would still be as effective as your
original article, if not more.
Writing is all about communicating. It's about getting your
message across to your readers simply, quickly, and effectively.
You don't just send in your first draft to your editor or publish it
right away without looking it over first.
Re-writing. It's the key.
Actually, it's the most crucial step in the writing process.
It can be a frustrating thing to do especially when you're
still in "writer mode" and you believe you've written a
But realize this: Re-writing your article will definitely pay
So here are 5 re-writing techniques you can use:
Technique # 1:
Stick to your central theme or idea. Don't insert bits and
pieces of information about other things. Read through your
work carefully. You're bound to find ideas, words, phrases
and sentences you can strike out.
Technique # 2:
Beware of long introductions. It's OK to start with an
introductory paragraph, but some writers tend to write
introductions that span several paragraphs. Start with the
most striking sentence, quote, or idea and then go on
Technique # 3:
Rearrange words, phrases and sentences. Often, merely
rearranging words within a sentence will shorten that sentence.
The trick here is to find prepositions and eliminate them. Break
down long sentences that contain two or more ideas. You'll get
rid of more conjunctions, articles and prepositions that way.
Technique # 4:
Are you being redundant? If you used something like
"absolutely complete," "ask the question," "for a span of
one month," or "factual information," then you've managed
to be redundant. It's either complete or not -- you don't have
to add the "absolutely" to make your point. Do you ask a
statement? Of course not! So it's fine if you use "ask." You
say "for one month." You don't have to add "a span of." And
lastly, save yourself the trouble and use "facts" instead of
Technique # 5:
Get rid of dangling modifiers and participles, awkward
prepositional phrases, and unnecessary adjectives. Look
over your work to see if you have cliches. You may have
overdone your metaphors and analogies too. Find them
and cut them out.
Apply the 5 re-writing techniques on your article and you'll
get a leaner, meaner and more polished piece. And *that*
will get your piece published in more ezines and sites!
So...have you just used the 5 techniques on that article
you were about to send a while ago?
If you have, then don't keep that article sitting on your
computer -- Send it NOW!
About the Author
Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
Shery is the creator and author of the exciting
new series of ebooks for writers, SEEDS: Ideas for the Everyday
(Non-Fiction) Writer. You can download a FREE sampler at
http://ewritersplace.com/seeds.html. The July SEEDS ebook
contains 82 idea seeds, all based on historical events.