I’m always looking for ways to step back from my own writing so that I can see it more objectively through the eyes of a reader.
One way I do this is by editing for various elements, including what I like to call “sticky words.” I call them sticky because — for better or worse — they stick in my mind when I read them.
Without trying to be too analytical, I take a colored pen or pencil and circle any words or sentences that strike me or stop the flow. I might not know why they hit me a certain way, but I’m trying to follow my instincts.
The sticky words and sentences might indicate:
- Overwritten text or purply prose. In this case, I fix these sentences by rewriting or deleting them. Read more