This podcast discusses what to do once you have a first draft in place – and emphasises focusing on the big questions before improving the wording.

Some of my takeaways from this discussion with Daphne Gray-Grant are:

  • It’s important to leave time between writing the first draft and doing developmental editing – so you can step into the shoes of your reader and read the document as if you didn’t write it.
  • Have a checklist of specific questions to ask yourself when doing the first read of the draft – so you don’t slip into just re-reading it and hoping to see how to make it better. (See page 4 of my report writing guide for a list of questions you can ask at this stage.)
  • As the writer and editor of a document, you can’t know when your document is good enough to publish. That’s because you’re not writing the document to please yourself. Find readers to provide feedback on the big questions, such as: does this document work; what’s wrong with it; what’s missing; what’s boring; or what did you want to know more about?