Paying it forward

A while ago, I went into a local primary school to talk to years five and six about how their English lessons have a tangible application in my career.

We looked at how much better writing can be after an edit. We pulled to pieces one of the real-life articles that had arrived in my inbox.

During the session, we laughed at dangling participles, we chuckled at words piled on words that said nothing and we raised eyebrows at misspellings, misinformation and some really clumsy phrasing. And I explained that, for me, editing is about pulling the redundant phrases  as much as correcting errors and adding description (which they are often told to do at school).

I showed them how much better their writing could be if they recraft and are brave enough to make big changes.

Here’s what we crafted.

The original version 
After an early rise, paddle through this ancient fishing village and discover ‘the Venice of the East’. Exploring the stunning village by kayak adds a unique dimension, allowing you to see islands of bygone pirate days before you head to Lantau Island Country Park to witness the habitat of the pink dolphins. On your kayaking adventure, you will also finish your excursion with a short hike that will lead you to a beautiful waterfall site that’s a picturesque spot to enjoy some lunch. It’s the ideal morning activity and the best way to start your day of adventure.

Our edited version
Get up early for a paddle through this ancient fishing village and discover ‘the Venice of the East’. Explore the village by kayak for a unique experience, passing once pirate-infested islands before you head to Lantau Island Country Park to see the incredible pink dolphins.

You’ll finish your kayaking adventure with a short hike to a beautiful waterfall for a picturesque lunch. It’s the ideal morning activity and the best way to start your day of adventure.

Warm, fuzzy moment

“I’d never thought of editing as getting rid of words and stripping writing back — I always thought I had to change words and add fronted adverbials”, said one of the girls. “I’m looking forward to our next piece of writing now”.

Proofreader, copy-writer and copy-editor

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