New Kiwi Women Write Their Stories

Giving a voice to Auckland's migrant women

Week 4 – editing

Wow, time has flown – this is our final week!  This week we had a discussion on editing before having time on our own to do this and also have one on one sessions with the tutors, in preparation for submitting to the anthology.


1. Proofreading/Accuracy.  Your work must be presented professionally and as free of errors as possible, for an editor to take it seriously.

Use spellcheck (set to NZ English). Beware of autocorrect – sometimes the computer will erroneously correct.

Read out loud to check for grammar, extra words, flow.  Read to another person for understanding and emotion (and this person does not need to be another writer).

Tense – is everything in the same tense (past, present, future)

Look at sentences – do you vary how you start sentences? Have you got variability of sentence length?

Syntax – are you using word order correctly?

Paragraphs – new paragraph every time you start a new thought.

Punctuation – make sure apostrophes are in the right place: its/it’s

In poetry – the usual grammar rules don’t apply.  Think about whether you need punctuation, capital letters, look at the shape of your poem and the spaces, the way it sits on your page.

2. Show don’t tell.

3. Be careful of your point of view.  Point of view should be consistent within a paragraph or story.

4. Beware of too many adjectives (descriptive words).  Use the thesaurus sparingly.  Check words in dictionaries.

5. Is it your real voice?  Does it sound like you, are they words they would use, or are you copying another person’s style? 

Useful books:



Slang dictionary

A Grammar Book for you and me by C. Edward Good

The Exercise Book ed. Bill Manhire (has a section on editing)

Audacity – online program to listen to you read your work.


And that’s all!  looking forward to your submission this coming Monday 24th Feb, and then the launch on the 8th of March, 3-4.30 pm, at Ferndale House, 830 New North Rd, Mt Albert.


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This entry was posted on February 23, 2014 by .
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