After my original editing post, people were providing me with all of kinds of different and interesting techniques they have developed. Here is my original editing technique which I have integrated this new technique. Now, this is how I “pre-edit.” I’m not actually doing any hardcore editing, but this process is a way to ease into everything and fix those blaring and common mistakes that always seem to find their way into my manuscript. Once you’ve gone through this process, your major set of edits will come much easier and smoother without having to mess with the tiny, careless errors.
Disclaimer: Once again, this process isn’t for everyone, and not everyone is going to want to go through this process because it does involve using different mediums. If you are set on using just your laptop, this may not be the process for you.
- Back to the Basics
Before today’s computers, laptops, and even typewriters people used pen (quill) and paper (parchment). So, I start there. I have a notebook dedicated specifically for first drafts, and even multiple notebooks dedicated to one story draft. At this stage, I just write. I have to get the first draft out into whatever form it wants to take. Once the story is out of my head and it has taken a physical form, then it is time for editing.
- Time for a Touch of Retro
Without editing anything on the first draft itself, I begin to to transfer that draft onto a typewriter. Not everyone has one, and a brand new one can be expensive, but if you can get your hands on one, then by all means, use it! It’s amazing what a change in medium can do to your editing eye. When you start typing, focus on the small edits. Word changes, misspellings, sentence structure, general grammar fixes, and anything else that can be fixed fairly easily with a quick read through. Hint, hint: Invest in a dictionary. Dictionaries are a writer’s best friend, and if they have a thesaurus in them: marry that dictionary. Word choice is everything. Have it close by at this point in the process. If you notice a pattern with a specific word, change it, just make sure to check the definition for the word. Words carry more than a definition, they also have connotations. Check everything and make the change, then continue on with your work.
- Back to the Future (or Present)
Finally, with the most comfortable of mediums, move your new draft on to the computer. Continue to do all of your little edits that might have been missed and here is where I begin to look at word flow and chapter placement. I may also use some of my resources during this transfer just to help with any huge edits later on. Anything that can help to make the future edits a little easier to manage, do it.
- My Original Editing Technique
Now, I go back to my original technique and start on those hardcore edits I’ve been talking about. I’ve linked to some of my older posts which I reference, just to ensure everyone knows what actually goes on during the editing process.
I hope I helped and that everyone’s editing techniques are growing and evolving just as much as mine. Now, what editing techniques do you have? Anything you’d like to add? Do you use quill and parchment? Let me know! Happy writing!
Thanks for reading!