Let me count the ways.
Obviously, the first few rounds of edits are all about making sense of my shitty first draft. But after that, I go through my chapters, over and over, each time with a different element of my work in mind. Sometimes I focus on dialogue, and other times I’m more concerned with grammar. I study sentence structure and the use of adjectives and adverbs. I will do a pacing edit and then one that’s all about tone. On and on it goes . . .
Does a writer ever really stop editing? The answer for me is no. At least in my experience with Saving Ben. Before I sent the document to my editor for a manuscript critique, I revised and rewrote until I wanted to throw my computer out of the window. After she offered her perspective, I made more changes before returning it to her for a line edit. By the time I uploaded my manuscript to Amazon, I had memorized my novel word for word.
When I write from scratch, I need absolute peace and quiet. But editing is different. I don’t mind if the television is on in the background. I often listen to music to set the mood for the scene I’m working on. More often than not, I engage my dear friend Alex to read passages to me from my chapters. If you own a Mac, Alex is the best thing ever.
- Go to system preferences
- Click on Dictation and Speech under system
- Click on Test to Speech and choose your settings
- If you prefer to listen to a woman’s voice, there are several to choose from
If you do nothing else, you absolutely must read your manuscript in print. I know, it takes a lot of paper and ink, but words look different on paper than they do on your computer screen. Tip: changing your font from time to time helps mistakes stand out.
For today’s discussion, please . . .
Share your editing tips.
If you haven’t already, check out Rochelle Melander’s guest post, Rock the Write-A-Thon, and enter for a chance to win Write-A-Thon!