24 – Once more with Editing

I’m sure I’ve gone over this before. Editing is crucial to the writing process. Think of writing as a whole as an adventure. Every adventure has some sort of cost. For writing, the cost is editing. You edit important emails after they’ve been written, you sometimes check texts to make sure autocorrect didn’t do something wonky, and you even edit papers you write for school. Those are all short things to edit. Now, think of this. You’ve written a 300 page novel and now you’re stuck editing it. It seems like a daunting task, and honesty it really is. 300 hundred pages is a lot to write and having to reread it all is a lot more work.

They key with editing after the fact is taking your time. You don’t have to power through it all in one day, in fact that would be the worst idea. Move slowly, even if it’s merely chapter by chapter. Make sure the document is double spaced (yes I know if you wrote single spaced this will make 300 pages so much longer) and print it out. Edit manually. You’ll catch more that way. Have pens of different colors for different issues, a highlighter to mark anything that sounds odd or doesn’t make sense. Keep an eye on grammar.

This process should be done at least twice. Once you finish the first time, make the corrections then print it out again. Let it sit for a couple of days before rereading or even give it to a trusted friend to read and edit for you. Read it out loud too. Hearing it spoken will help you notice any issues that your eyes may not have caught.

I know it’s tedious and annoying and you don’t want to do it but it has to be done. So take the time, read slow, and don’t get angry. All writers edit. Remember that.

Until next time.

Alana

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