Skip to main content
Publish date:

How to Revise Your Writing (& Awesome Editing Symbols You Should Know)

Maybe I'm a nerd, but I love the editing process. I love recasting sentences to make them stronger, choosing specific words to make dialogue sing, correcting grammar until it's fit to print and drawing little squibblies all over the page (mainly because I like the way squibblies look). Honestly, I use editing marks so much that sometimes I get bored with the usual suspects and make up my own.

Maybe I'm a nerd, but I love the editing process. I love recasting sentences to make them stronger, choosing specific words to make dialogue sing, correcting grammar until it's fit to print and drawing little squibblies all over the page (mainly because I like the way squibblies look). Honestly, I use editing marks so much that sometimes I get bored with the usual suspects and make up my own.

Here is a list of Well-Known Editing Symbols, just in case you aren't familiar:

Here is a list of the Brian A. Klems Lesser-Known Editing Symbols Worksheet:

KlemsBlog-EditingSymbols1
Some of our favorite uncommon copy editing marks.

(Get more Tips on Revising Your Work: 3 Easy-To-Use Revision Techniques)

If you need help revising your work, check out these excellent articles filled with advice on how to turn your good manuscript into a great manuscript:

Revisions: What Every Writer Should Know
The Revision Process: How I Prepared My Book for Publication
6 Keys to Revising Your Fiction
Revision Checklist (via agent-turned-author Nathan Bransford)

And finally, if you want to really amp up your manuscript to make sure agents read past page one, consider downloading:
70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes

70-Solutions-Z5001

P.S.—According to my wife, there's no "maybe" in the sentence "maybe I'm a nerd." Such is the life of a writer.

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Read my Dad blog: TheLifeOfDad.com
Sign up for my free weekly eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg
Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let things get a little out of control.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

After an intense writing challenge, you might feel a little lost. Here are some tips from Managing Editor and fellow Wrimo Moriah Richard for capitalizing on your momentum.

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Ian Douglas discusses how he incorporated implausible conspiracy theories to uncover the truth in his new science fiction novel, Alien Hostiles.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 589

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a yesterday poem.

Revenge

Revenge

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about revenge.

Peter Fiennes: On Finding Hope in the Writing Process

Peter Fiennes: On Finding Hope in the Writing Process

Critically acclaimed author Peter Fiennes discusses his quest to find hope in his new travel/Greek mythology book, A Thing of Beauty.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a The End and/or The Beginning poem.

Sports Afield: Market Spotlight

Sports Afield: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Sports Afield, a bimonthly hunting adventure magazine.