Do you love or hate editing? Good editing can leave your audience moved to tears, bad editing makes them feel disgruntled or dissatisfied.

Historical movies 

I love historical movies. Whether they come from Hollywood or Bollywood, I’m a sucker for well written and narrated stories based on politics, with strong characters who are devious or honorable and counter sly political moves with courage and cleverness.
Of course, Bollywood can’t always be relied upon for a factual narration of historical events. But the creativity shown designing sets, costumes and the locations is out of this world.
Recently, I went to watch Padmaavat based on Queen Padmini who might be a mythical character. She jumped into a fire to avoid being conquered by a Muslim ruler. The movie had a production budget of US$33 million and so far has grossed US$86 million worldwide.

This movie faced many controversies before it hit the cinemas. The lead actress got death threats, there were riots and calls to ban the movie in various Indian states, and the Director got beaten up on set by some locals.
The film authorities also came down hard on the director. He was told to edit much of his movie and change the name so as not to offend the public’s sensibilities. The end result (this is my opinion based on over 30 years of watching Bollywood movies), was a good movie which could have been stupendous, if not for the heavy editing.

Padmaavat and bad editing

So what has Padmaavat got to do with copywriting and editing? Quite a lot, when I sat down to think about it.
[bctt tweet=”Every content piece has a creative ‘soul’ that too much editing can destroy.” username=”rashidatayabali”]
I believe that content using storytelling techniques has a creative ‘soul’ which shapes itself as you tell the story.
Editing not done by an expert can destroy it and make it less enjoyable to watch or read. In Padmaavat, the narration seemed disjointed in some places with event sequences not making much sense. It left me with questions at the end – highly unsatisfying.
While the ending was stupendous and highly emotional (it was in line with public expectations), the ‘soul’ this director is known for, seemed to be missing from the story.
[bctt tweet=”Editing tips for marvellous stories” username=”rashidatayabali”]

My editing tips

So the next time you sit down to edit a story, these tips might help:

  • What’s the point behind this story?
  • Who is at the heart of this story? Would removing certain sentences or descriptions provide less emphasis and make the story weaker though it may read quite well grammatically?
  • Are the emotions displayed and written as they should? Can they be made powerful by using stronger words to describe them?
  • Have different personalities been brought to life or are they mere shadows flitting about?
  • Is the soul of the story present? Does the story move you to tears or do you identify with what you are reading? If not, go back and see where it can be made better
  • Does the story jump about or is there a logical sequence of events?

What movies have you watched or stories read where you felt the soul of the story was missing? Tell me in the comments below.
If you need an editor to jazz up your content shoot me an email at