Red pens. There’s a love hate relationship there with most writers. It starts in grade school the first time a teacher whips one out and starts going through your essay with it. “Tighten this, misspelling, run on sentence.” My biggest one was misspelling.
Even so, I love red pens. I have a lot of them, but I only use them for one thing, editing. It’s one of the reasons why I have to print out drafts, so I can go through them with red ink, crossing out and leaving similar notes as the ones my teacher would have left, but probably with more swear words. “Show, Don’t Tell!” I’ll write, or “Cliche, rewrite.” My favorite one, “You can do something better than this!” By the time I’m done, my manuscript is awash in red ink. Then the next draft isn’t so bad.
Why do we use red ink for editing?…
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