When to Start the Editing Process of a Document
Editing a document can feel like a long, hard slog after the exuberant, creative process of writing. Many writers leave editing and proofreading until the end of the writing process. However, integrating the editing process with your writing can help to produce better work and eliminate the tedium of late editing.
Create and maintain an outline
Outlining is often thought of as a separate task, undertaken before writing. However, maintaining an outline is also an important part of the editing process. Keeping a clear record of the structure of your work helps avoid rewrites later. In this way, you can begin the editing process before you even write a word.
Edit while you write
Distance is the best aid to editing. Proofreading text you just wrote is likely to frustrate you, and you may miss obvious problems. Instead, polish your work, and keep the whole piece in mind by turning back to earlier passages for editing. This practice helps you keep perspective and continuously produce good writing.
Read your work out loud
Keep a sense of the tone and flow of your work by constantly reading paragraphs and sentences aloud, then editing to achieve the style you desire. Subtle problems in phrasing and sentence construction become apparent when read aloud. By reading and editing as you go, you can maintain the tone and authorial voice you desire throughout the piece and avoid lengthy rewrites at the end.
Integrating the editing process with your writing can both significantly improve the end product and cut down on the laborious editing passes you need to complete at the end of the writing process.