Saturday, May 28, 2011

Article #152 Errors and Rewriting

The age of technology has certainly made life easier and especially for would be writers or historians IF you are computer literate. After your rough draft is written, it’s time to use a spell and grammar check on your computer to catch errors. If you stop to do this earlier as you’re writing, you may never get your story down. A rough draft should have mistakes as it is written freely and quickly to get your creative juices going. If you’re not familiar with computer software, ask someone in your family for help with this stage of editing the project or hire a college student or friend with expertise. (Using photos shows clearly your history. My seventh birthday.)

You don’t have to accept all the corrections or suggestions that are given. Remember you want your writing to reflect your way of thinking and talking. Some grammar errors truly reflect regional or educational backgrounds of people that can get lost, if you correct them to make your story sound like a college English paper. Having someone in your family who is good at writing read your story and give suggestions for improving it as far as shortening or tightening up paragraphs, adding more descriptive words or not rambling can be a great help. Even reading your history out loud will amaze you at how it sounds or errors that you missed reading it silently.

Refining your outline as you go can make your story flow better. Some parts can be deleted or added. Whether you are writing chronologically or just episodes from your life, they need to be interesting not boring. Add some humor or details to bring your experiences alive. What are you trying to say? Is there a theme to your story? What were your feelings and did you learn something from your life’s challenges? Remember to add photos, maps, certificates etc on almost every page to add interest.

Also chapter heading and shorter paragraphs can keep the story moving along. Try to summarize or condense what you are writing. Don’t bore your audience to death with too many details, but remember no descriptions can make for dull reading. Get others’ ideas and suggestions for improvement. It doesn’t have to be perfect but does need to reflect who you are and want to be remembered. Discover your unique voice by editing your story and connecting with other family members or friends as you seek feedback on your biography or history.

4 comments:

kavita said...

Very useful tips here.I strongly agree with this point of yours -'Some grammar errors truly reflect regional or educational backgrounds of people that can get lost, if you correct them to make your story sound like a college English paper.'
Once one of my newspaper editor friend edited one of my post - i don't feel very close to that post .

Cheryl said...

I so admire anyone who can write stories, poems, etc. I barely managed to write papers in high school without a struggle! This post will certainly help those who are writers or interested in writing. I think the photo is very sweet!

SandyCarlson said...

You have me thinking of how we can take or leave the suggestions technology offers. You also have me realizing what a great help these suggestions are.

Rambling Woods said...

Good tips..especially about the regional differences.. I use my husband as an editor...