Adriana Bielkova reports:
"If you dread editing, it can help to think of it in the same way as you do your writing. Both writing and editing are as much about creativity as they are about discipline and planning...Rather than steaming straight into editing, spend some time planning. Take lessons from your writing routine. Do you prefer to write in the morning, or in the evening? Do you need solitude, or can you freely scribble away in a noisy café? You may set yourself a word limit to reach each day. Setting achievable goals keep[s] you motivated to put pen to paper...Do you find that you run out of steam quickly? Then you might find it useful to schedule in an editing day after several days of writing. Or maybe you prefer to write the whole thing first and edit after?...[J]ust remember to break your editing into achievable goals like you did your writing. Editing a thousand words a day sounds much more doable than editing the entire novel...Structural editing focuses on the basic elements of storytelling, things such as narrative drive, pacing, structure, and point of view...Copyediting[,] on the other hand, is about polishing the surface: correcting mistakes in usage, continuity, grammar, and style...Proofreading is the very last stage of editing–identifying and correcting all the remaining errors. There’s no use spending months correcting typos only to realize you need to rewrite half the book for it to make sense structurally...Don’t underestimate the importance of giving your mind a rest between writing and editing. Stephen King famously leaves six weeks between writing and editing his manuscript. Again, how much time you need depends on how you work...Separate your sentences and think about whether each of them makes sense both on its own and within a wider context. Look closely at your choice of words and get rid of any phrases or words that are unnecessary or cliché...Isolate every sentence on a separate line and use double spacing so you can clearly see the length and pacing of each sentence. Read the sentence out loud to discover how it flows and whether any words are jarring...[P]rinting a draft of your novel can be a useful process for spotting further mistakes. Words look different on a printed page. Plus, it’s nice to give your eyes a break...Remember, no book was ever published without editing. Sit back, unleash the red pen, cram your mouth full of cake, and enjoy yourself. Your book will be all the better for it!"
Leave a Reply.
Writing and editing can be pretty rigorous processes if you want to do them well, but that's what this page is here for. Check out the latest tips here.