I used to hate editing. Since becoming a self-published author I have learned to embrace it with enthusiasm.
I have to wear a different head to the one when I wear I am writing. I work more slowly, with greater attention to detail, less attention to the overall flow. When I write I sometimes act out scenes. When I edit I often read aloud to myself in a mumble much like chewing the cud. I use my ears more than my eyes.
I am lucky that I have a very skilled editor who not only copy-edits but also interrogates me about plot and motivation. Then it’s back to the laptop once again.
I also make a great deal of use of the features on Word. I tend to change the view to Read which gives me two smaller pages on the screen. The difference is remarkable and I can spot things I might otherwise never have seen.
I also make great use of Word’s Search and Replace. I have a thing about characters having names so similar that might confuse the reader. Many of them have to sport any number of name changes as the story is written. Here Search and Replace is invaluable.
One of my friends said that I used the word ‘seemed’ too much in the sample I put up last Sunday. I hadn’t realised, Andy. Thanks for pointing it out. I search and replaced every ‘seemed’ in the novel and changed a majority of them. But not all.
Because this is the thing about editing. I take all the advice I can. I crave it. Yet in the end I listen to my inner ear and and feel the story in my bones. The final cut is mine. It has to be.
- Getting Down to Editing (richardreilly.wordpress.com)
- Do I Need An Editor? (writermirandastork.wordpress.com)