Editing Advice

I picked up a great piece of editing advice on the internet this week courtesy of short story writer, Dan Purdue.

Dan’s blog post on Editing is worth reading in full but I particularly liked the tip that Dan gives in the very last paragraph of his post. He tries to read his work as though it were written by someone he doesn’t like or by someone who’s won a competition in which he was unplaced. The aim is to tear the piece apart and show what a terrible writer this other person really is.

I’m not good at cutting out chunks of prose or ‘killing my darlings’ but I think Dan’s tip is definitely worth a try. I shall get myself into ‘nasty’ mode before I start editing next time.

Incidentally, Dan’s stories have won many competitions and feature in his collection Somewhere to Start From, which is available in all e-formats from Smashwords.


  1. #1 by juliathorley on July 21, 2016 - 2:32 pm

    I’ve read the full post and it’s full of good stuff. I’m definitely going to keep that last para in mind!

  2. #3 by Southpaw, HR Sinclair on July 24, 2016 - 1:20 am

    Interesting take on editing. I’ll have to try that out and see what happens.

  3. #5 by Dr Charles Mansfield on July 26, 2016 - 9:14 am

    Hi Sally – do you still have any contact details for the West Country Writers Assoc, please? And their competitions and conferences? Many thanks for any links or help.
    Kind regards
    Dr Charlie Mansfield
    Plymouth University
    Programme Leader for the Masters in Travel Writing

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on July 26, 2016 - 12:33 pm

      Charlie – I haven’t had any direct contact with West Country Writers for a few years and I see that their website appears to have disappeared. However, I do know one lady who is (was?) a member and I will email you directly with her contact details, hopefully she may be able to help you.

  4. #7 by Dr Charles Mansfield on July 26, 2016 - 9:15 am

    Reblogged this on Toureme.

  5. #9 by Wendy Clarke on July 26, 2016 - 8:55 pm

    Such good advice. I find the first big cut is the hardest then it gets progressively easier.

    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on July 27, 2016 - 6:33 pm

      It’s so demoralising when you have to cut stuff out, I agree Wendy. But it’s all for the greater good ….

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