Good editing advice

GOOD EDITING ADVICE Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited. Ambrose Bierce

Were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults in the first.  Benjamin Franklin

An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better. T. S. Eliot

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.   Mark Twain

[She was] a copy editor, possessed of the rare capacity to sit all day in a small cubicle, like a monk in a cell, and read with an almost penitential rigor. David Leavitt

Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counselling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, ''How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style?'' and avoid ''How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?'' James Thurber

When in doubt, delete it.  Philip Cosby

The work was like peeling an onion. The outer skin came off with difficulty ... but in no time you'd be down to its innards, tears streaming from your eyes as more and more beautiful reductions became possible.  Edward Blishen

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