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The Absolutely Literate blog is for people interested in writing, editing, design, history and family history.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How is Your Story Built? Editing for Structure

I started a series of posts a while ago about the different types of editing. Today I am going to write about editing for structure.

How is your document organized? Keep your fingers off your keyboard and read it as a reader. A large part of my work is editing non-fiction articles, but the same questions can be applied to memoirs, family history, fiction, and even business writing.
  1. Does the introduction prepare the reader for what follows?
  2. Does the introduction captivate?
  3. Are there confusing transitions?
  4. Does the timeline flow logically or does the piece move back and forth in time?
  5. Is there extraneous information that distracts the reader from the main point? Do all of the parts relate to the whole?
  6. Does the piece have a solid through-line that takes the reader from introduction to conclusion? 
Once you have answered these questions, you can start to revise.

Our goal is to create the best experience we can for the reader. We do not want to lose them along the way.

Sources:
Advanced Study in Writing for Business and the Professions by Anne Hungerford (course material)
"Writing from the Top Down: Pros and Cons of the Inverted Pyramid", Poytner. by Chip Scanlan

Related Posts:
Revising, revising, revising
Truth and Accuracy
Editing for Audience and Purpose

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