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Friday Revisions: The importance of the first, complete read-through

I’ve been spitting and polishing away at A to Z Stories of Life and Death, and since it is my longest piece I’ve ever edited for publication, I learned a lesson.

It is a collection of flash fiction, so I just polished one before going on to the next, and so on and so forth. (This is against all the rules I followed while proofing/editing work by other folks. Go figure…..le sigh.)

Only at the end of the whole shebang did I do a complete read through, and of course I had made a mess of consistency issues like UK and US spellings and idioms. I also realized that I had stories that were too similar to each other, and some that did not fit the theme. Back to square one, of course.

Note to self: Do a complete read-through of any MS before you begin editing.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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3 Comments

  • No matter how long we're at this writing thing, we still have so much to learn. The up side is that you caught what needed to be fixed. Keep going. I know you'll get there.

  • Damyanti says:

    Thanks Loree, both for your comment and your words of encouragement. Square one is proving difficult to turn back.

  • I agree with your note to self: "Do a complete read-through of any MS before you begin editing."

    This is very important. You need to feel where you are at and the flow.

    Square one will pass quickly…I promise.

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