A New (for me) Take on Editing

Because writing is a craft where (if you’re lucky) you’ll never stop learning, it should come as no surprise to you to hear that I’ve discovered that my style of editing is changing.

There are some parts that haven’t changed. I still print the whole thing out, and I still read it out loud. That’s the essential first phase. I’ve talked about it before, but it bears repeating that nothing will help you spot missteps, and clunky dialogue better than reading your work out loud.

It won’t catch everything, because your brain will sometimes fill in what’s there, with what it expects to be there. But it’s a good start.

After I’ve incorporated those changes, It’s ready to go out to beta readers. After I get feedback, I’ll make notes, and print it out again.

This part is new. What I’m doing here is going through the story page by page and making notes for myself (often fueled by the feedback from my awesome beta readers), smoothing out rough spots that somehow made it through the “Read it out loud” phase, and correcting misspellings (which also have somehow survived multiple readings).

As I’m doing this, I stop at the end of every chapter, and scene. When I reach one of these breaks, I write down what happens in a separate notebook. The idea is that when I’ve gone through the work, I can page through the notebook to get a very brief overview of the story. If it works, it should also show me where I might have gotten repetitive, or where the story sags, or if there are multiple scenes/chapters that I could condense or combine, to tighten up the pacing.

Once I’m done with this pass, I’ll go back into a copy (Always make a copy) of the Master Project and incorporate those notes and changes.

After that, it’ll be as polished as I can make it, and it’ll be time to send it out into the world.

I’m shooting for May 1st.

See you on Thursday!


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Weird Wild West


Chasing the Light