Edit deftly – copywriting tip #7

Editing is a crucial part of the writing process. But editing does not just mean removing words, or attemptingSpeed 2 Movie Poster to make a piece of writing shorter. You should look to remove unnecessary words. The part of editing that requires the most thought is deciding exactly what is necessary and what isn’t.

When writing, always keep in mind your purpose. If a word or sentence doesn’t help you convey your meaning, then consider removing it. Skilfully edited copy will be easier and more pleasing to read. It will deliver the right information at the right time, and will be more effective at selling, persuading or motivating.

It’s easier to edit someone else’s work, so you might want to get a kind buddy to do your editing. However, choose one buddy, not a whole gaggle. If you start writing by committee you’ll end up with something that’s as bland as a Hollywood blockbuster, and equally memorable.

(Picture courtesy of Kaly Web Design)

Even the boss can blog (with a little help)

Blogging has revolutionised the way organisations communicate with their clients and peers.

CEOs are blogging about their work. Organisations are opening up, creating greater transparency in their dealings with customers.

Anyone in business that wants to blog must understand that the key to a blog’s appeal is honesty.

Readers accept that the CEO may need an editor, but they won’t accept ghost-written posts from an office junior. Blog content must always be high-quality, pertinent material, direct from the boss.

Copywriters make perfect editors – leaving your voice and your message intact while weeding out errors and improving readability.

Concise Copy: The Copy Reducer

Axe Family by Mark and Marina

Do you enjoy wasting your customers’ time?


Then remember that the best way to say something is generally the shortest. People are busy, and they don’t want to waste time while you gradually get to the point.

I recently worked on a treatment for a film with Charlie Southall of Dragonfly Productions , and one of the ways I improved the document was to whittle ideas down to their essence. The reader is then swept along to the end, without a chance to get bored.

This is the introduction before editing:

The opening sequence and introduction of the video is extremely important. Its aim is to create an initial impact, therefore hooking the audience, drawing them in to want to watch on. Its aim is also to make a clear and impact full statement. This opening statement is that the Red Cross are ready and able to help in emergency situations.

And here is the streamlined version:

It is vital that the opening scene makes an impact. Viewers must be hooked from the start to ensure their attention throughout. The first message this film will deliver is that the Red Cross are ready and able to help in emergencies.

When editing text, always ask yourself what it is you are trying to say. This will help identify any unnecessary sentences. Isolate pointless copy and chop it out!

(Picture courtesy of Mark and Marina)

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