Okay, not easy. Easier.
You’ve probably heard that reformatting your word processing page single-spaced with narrow margins (making it look more like a book page) is one way to get fresh eyes on your work-in-progress. Even better, if you have a Kindle, try the personal document feature (Send to Kindle) to examine your manuscript. A different format helps you notice problems. For example, until I read my current project on Kindle, I didn’t see I needed another sentence in the first paragraph.
If you’re like me, you edit as you write. All advice is against this, but too bad, I can’t help it. Often when I finish a scene I examine it in MS Word’s two-page view. This is very handy for seeing across a lot of text, spotting sentence pairs with identical construction, the same word repeated too often, etc.
I hope at some point you read your text aloud, a tried and true method to reveal shabby writing. And here’s my newest technique:
Don’t just read your text aloud, record it! Then listen to it while you study your word processing page.
When you think you’re ready to publish, don’t. Submit your work to a critique group like critiquecircle.com. Not every bit of advice you receive may work for your project, but CC writers can teach you a lot. Some writers post several drafts of each novel whether they intend to submit it to an agent or self-publish.
Finally, if you self-publish, be kind to your book and hire an editor. It’s what every publisher does.
7 thoughts on “Editing made easy”
Carol, wonderful idea. And by the way, you know who ALSO edits as they write? Dean Koontz. Maybe all the hoity toity folks with their fancy advice are trying to keep you from making millions of dollars like Mr. Koontz, hmm?
Oh yeah, I also edit as I write. No millions of dollars yet, so can only afford one or two peasants, sigh…
Thanks for this inspiring info and $%^&* to all those hoity toities. Doubtless you’ll go far. Don’t forget us little people.
I find getting my Kindle to read my manuscript to me also helps (has a text to speech function)
I haven’t tried that, but my Kindle is a bad reader. (ignorant mechanical voice.)
I haven’t tried sending to Kindle, but that’s an excellent idea. Good solid advice, Carol.
Reblogged this on The Manuscript Doctor and commented:
And yet again, another excellent post on editing before sending to an editor.
Thanks, P.C. – and thanks for the reblog!