Editing techniques

Well I didn’t quite believe what we were given to work on on this OU writing course to start with. There was an article, well 2 excerpts from an article, which was telling us about these two poets who were in hospital during the second world war with shell shock. We were set to read this and so I did. It was actually surprisingly informative. These two guys were discussing poems. One of them brought a piece in to the other one, asked him to look at it, which he did, and then comment on its content. These comments later turned into editing of the piece from the first draft towards the final piece.
This was a simple story yet the thing we were supposed to note is how they actually went about the editing. The method used was that got together and discussed the piece. They read it as talked about how they "felt" about certain words in different lines. Once the discussions had taken place they both went away and thought about it more. Alterations were made, with the conversations they had had in mind and then they returned to the piece together for a second time.
Once again, further talking about it and how the word felt, what they meant to each of these guys was discussed. Further editing took place there and then.
The technique was simple. Have someone else you can rely on look at your work with you. Talk about it. Talk about what it means to you and what it is meant to mean. It was not that everything that was discussed was actually changed but, if it did not make the communication clear, a change generally occurs. Once the changes were made, a little time had to pass, then it was revisited again along the same lines. As the clarity of meaning came true, so the piece was reaching it final draft.
Write, read, talk, change, let time pass, read, talk, change …
All of the editing was to do with word definitions, the actual meaning of the peice and what it was its author was actually trying to say. If it wasnt clear it was made more so.
This seems to me to have been the way of it. More will come as I read on further into the coarse work.
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