31 May 2016 | Editing, Grammar, Writing

Editing is caring

Editing is caring! Ever heard that expression before? No? That’s because I made it up to help teach the grade four kids in my editing workshop last week!  This was a follow-up workshop to help them edit their Dreamtime stories.

I explained how it is ok to have a messy first draft, because you are trying to think about your main character, and what he or she wants and what obstacles are in their way and what will happen in the end. So much to think about! So much to hold in your mind!

But it is not ok to have a messy final draft. If you have a messy final draft, it shows your readers that you don’t care enough about your writing. And if you don’t care about your writing, why should your readers bother to read it? (And this goes for adult writers as well!) So editing is definitely caring.

We talked about adding some interesting elements to your story to make it more interesting – metaphors, similes and alliteration. We discussed checking that spelling and punctuation were correct, and played a little game to help understand the punctuation for dialogue.

I gave them all a copy of my editing checklist to help tick things off. You can download and print it here.

There were many inspiring and inspired writers in these classes. But even if none of these kids become writers, they will still need to communicate – personally and professionally. They will need to write resumes, apply for grants, give a speech at their best friend’s 21st, write a eulogy, introduce a guest speaker, convince the love of their life that they should be together forever, put together their website content, write a succinct argument in 140 characters (or whatever social media replaces Twitter), write a letter to a large organisation outlining their reasons for demanding money back ….

And that is why we all need to write with clarity, edit with logic and communicate with passion.


Her sheer audacity


Terri Dixon

In this day of texts and twitter it is great kids are learning some good grammar, punctuation and writing skills.

Well done Karen for giving your time, kids and teacher are lucky to have your expertise.


May 31, 2016 at 10:05 am


I love ‘editing is caring’! So true! I know I always wonder when I see spelling or grammatical errors if the writer simply did not bother to proofread – which is lazy – or did not know how to write correctly – which is a bit of a worry!And, yes, read it aloud to get a sense of the rhythm of the sentences. Excellent tips, Karen!

May 31, 2016 at 1:08 pm


I love the last bit Karen, write with clarity, edit with logic and communicate with passion. Awesome. It’s great you are giving your time and expertise to these kids. They are very lucky.

May 31, 2016 at 7:15 pm

SA Menary

Hi Karen, love your piece on this and strapline Editing is Caring. Where did you teach the workshop?

June 8, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Karen Comer

    Thanks, Sarah – glad you liked my editing is caring line! I taught this workshop at a local primary school – am planning to do some more primary school workshops and have an adult workshop on storytelling coming up soon.

    June 8, 2016 at 10:18 am

SA Menary

I want to follow your blog but can’t see a Follow button so have ticked below Notify me of new posts by email

June 8, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Karen Comer

    Hi Sarah, I think you’ve filled in the right box! If you don’t receive an email from me with a link to a post on Tuesdays and Fridays, let me know and i’ll sort it out.

    June 8, 2016 at 10:17 am

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