These 4Cs provide an easy way to remember the goals of editing. I hope you find it useful.
Just like the evaluation and presentation of a diamond, the most publishable, sparkling content has been evaluated, chiseled and polished using multiple criteria.
The purpose of any editorial process is to chisel any written work—whether it’s a blog, social media post, article, a book, an email, an ad, a brochure—into a compelling piece that cultivates some level of communication, and in some cases, creates an additional action (purchase, getting more information, deepening a relationship, creating awareness).
The Actual 4Cs:
Creative Content—Evaluating content can be a critical part of an editor’s work, if you are open to content editing.
- Is your content original? Is it a new twist on a universal message?
Clarity—Are you use the clearest words possible?
Are you buidling a bridge that maximizes understanding between the author and the reader? Are the facts of the situation included?
- Is the flow logical?
- Are your pronouns clear?
Compellingness—To determine whether or not something is compelling, ask yourself:
- Is it interesting? To answer this question, who you are writing to has to be determined. Interest is gaged by the type of person you are writing to.
- What are your audience’s interests?
- Are they just looking for a good story?
- How do they see the world differently than you do?
- What do they want to learn?
- Have you offered variety in language by not repeating words?
Conciseness—Unless you are writing a dissertation or academic paper, or an epic novel like Gone with the Wind, cutting out words is the best practice.
- Have you read your work out loud to see if you need a breath before your sentence is over?
- Have you broken up copy with short paragraphs, bullets or lists when appropriate?
Stay tuned in days to come for common manuscript challenges, the process of editing, common roles and responsibilities in an ideal editing environment and other tips and tricks for editorial success. If you have questions at any time, please feel free to contact me.