Chapter 6

Improve what you’ve written

Once you’ve written a complete draft, you’ll revise first and then edit. Revising is a reconsideration of what you’re saying as a whole, and where you’re saying it. It’s rethinking the floor plan. Editing is more a matter of fine-tuning sentences and paragraphs. You need to allow time for both. On the one hand, don’t let some neurotic obsession with perfectionism delay important projects. On the other hand, don’t rashly send things out without proper vetting and improvement.


As a reviser, you’re asking several questions:

  • Have I been utterly truthful?
  • Have I said all that I need to say?
  • Have I been appropriately diplomatic and fair?
  • Do I have three parts to the piece—an opener, a middle, and a closer? ...

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