Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Line Editing

Line editing means to consider each individual sentence as a unit and to check it for clarity, efficiency and logic.

How is this done?

The steps:

1.     Eliminate unnecessary modifiers.

Kick out the modifier words that decrease the strength of prose.
Eg: Simply, lovingly, soothingly, ( hint: words that end with –ly)

2.     Eliminate clichés
Read my post about kicking out the clichés here.

3.     Eliminate repeated words and phrases

Read the passages and find repeated words and replace them with their synonym. Look out for character descriptions, or actions  that are repeated. Try replacing them with different phrases or words.

4.     Delete the  extra thats, hads and buts.

Many people tend to use a lot of buts, had and that in their prose. Try to eliminate some of them, without effecting the meaning of the sentences.

5.     Look up words whose exact meaning you don’t know:

Some people try to show off their verbosity by relying on thesaurus and use words that is not at all suitable or grammatically correct. If you have used an unfamiliar word, look up their meaning in a dictionary and make sure it conveys the meaning you want to convey.

6.     Use online tools to find synonyms to replace repeated words.

There are many online thesaurus that helps us find words that will sound apt and make the sentences more effective and concise. Use the online tools while doing line editing so that you end up with a clean and correct prose.

7.     Read it aloud and rephrase.
Some sentences when we read out aloud loses its charm. Find words and rephrase the sentence to make it more effective and soothing to the ears.

This post is a part of the APRIL A-Z Challenge  


  1. Very useful tips Preethi as many a times I have found that my draft version goes beyond the word limits. Thank you for sharing :)

    1. I am glad you felt it useful. Thank you for reading.

  2. Great tips again.
    My link: http://www.devikafernando.com/blog/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-letter-l-love

  3. Wonderful tips, Preethi! Thanks for sharing them! :)

  4. I have a great editor. But I do as much editing on my end to help make his life easier.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    Twitter: @StephenTremp

    1. I am sure you are an expert yourself. :)

  5. All great tips. I end up using "that" quite a bit in my first draft and at least half of the time (if not more) it simply isn't needed.

  6. I enjoy line editing. I appreciate how concise your post is, too!


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