Today, my accountability group is sharing our editing process. I’m still tweaking mine to see what works and what doesn’t. So here are the parts of my process:
1. Edit a hard copy. I print out a chapter at time, two pages on one sheet a paper with 1.15 line spacing. Working on a chapter at a time makes the whole thought daunting. I also like the portability of printed pages. I can stick them in my purse or pocket and be able to work just about anywhere. Also, seeing my words in a different format helps me catch errors/funky parts I might miss my first round of edits. Once I done with the pages, they go into my scratch paper box and get used for to do lists, doodles and to record bursts of my creative genius when I can’t get to a notebook.
2. Write in a notebook. Sometimes I jot down the changes in a notebook as I read the hard copy. Or if I’m doing edits on the computer and get stuck, I’ll bust out a notebook and rework the section longhand.
3. Read it out loud. Hearing my words without the echo in my head helps me focus on the words and see how the words flow. In the past, I’ve read the lines out loud. When I edit my current wip, I’m going to let the computer read it to me.
4. Read it through. I try to do this, but usually end up stopping because the urge to make the edits right then overpowers my self-control.
5. Edit backwards. I can’t remember where I read this tip. What you do is edit from the end of your whip to the beginning. It’s helped make my reading’s more objective and help point out issues I might gloss over because I know what’s supposed to come next. Think about saying the alphabet backwards. We have to slow down to think what letter comes next. We can rush through to Z.