One is lonely, two is a cosy couple, three is the magic number. I’m talking about editing. For maximum effect, when you’ve written a story, print it out and read it through. Mark any parts where improvements could be made with a pencil, then put it to one side. Next day, type it up with the changes and print again. Now, as you read through this second, almost perfect story; read it slower. (This is for me as I tend to read much too fast.) Where you take a breath, put a comma. If it’s a long breath; a semi-colon is used. An even longer breath: that’s the job of a colon. Get rid of any exclamation marks, unless the person speaking is SCREAMING! So, edit once, twice, thrice, and go on and sell that story.
I’ve entered a competition following my own advice. Can’t believe how often I’ve typed up a story, printed it off and sent out without checking it through and editing. I’m now remembering from this day on: the power of three. Happy Halloweeeeen, and Happy Writing.