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Storytelling Tip: Edit until you’re done. Then quit

 

Storytelling Tip: Edit until you’re done. Then quit
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: Edit until you’re done, then quitAs a foodie, I also like to cook. And my best creations in the kitchen inevitably are the ones where the recipe is: Add things until it tastes right. Then quit.

That’s how I approach editing: Edit until you’re done. Then quit.

How do you know when you’re done? Here are the tests I use to determine when I’m done:

  • Are there words, phrases or even paragraphs I can take out without interfering with what I’m trying to say? If the answer is yes, I’m not done editing. Edit until no matter how hard you try, anything you take out means not telling the story you want to tell.
  • Have you filled in all the holes? Will your readers have questions you haven’t answered? If there are, fill in those holes.
  • Have I told the story I want to tell? Or did I get sidetracked as I was writing and go done a different path? Do I need to go back and fix that? Or was the new path the right one?
  • Does it sound right? If it doesn’t sound quite right, there’s a change in there waiting to be made. It may take a little while to find it, but it’s there. And making what you’ve written sound right is important. Good writing has a natural rhythm.
  • Have you found all the typos? Are you sure? How hard have you looked? Typos have a knack for going unseen until after you’ve hit the print button. So, proof what you’ve read until you’re confident you’ve found all the typos. Then consider proofing it one more time.

Once you’re satisfied that you’ve gotten rid of all the extra words, made it sound right and fixed all the typos, you’re done. Almost. If you have the luxury of doing so, put what you’ve written aside for a while. Go for a walk. Sleep on it. Do something else, whatever that is. Then come back to what you’ve written and read it over one more time.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

1 Comment
  1. Thanks for these great tips! I also like to read my writing aloud. This generally helps me catch awkward phrasing!

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