Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's Your Editing Process?

Today I am hunkered down working on these final edits.  I have babysitters set for my children, power snacks ready for me, and I think I'm ready.

For me, I plan my edits.  I work on them on the computer, then I print out and read, then I read aloud, then I go back and make the changes on the computer.  Different layers and details always come to me during edits and when I add things, I always have to go through and read one more time.

Of course I won't catch all my typos and mistakes and that's why I'm so grateful for alpha readers.  And beta readers.  And critique groups.  They all make me better.

And after my confession on Monday you know this manuscript has been different than any other in the fact that I'm making a major change in the book late in the process.  It's stressed me out, but as I change and work and mold the material, I'm seeing something wonderful take shape and I hope my readers will, too.

So, what's your editing process?  How do you make it work for you?


Debra Erfert said...

I've been know to totally overhaul a manuscript five times. No, let's make that six times since I now started that particular paranormal manuscript over again. Sigh. I love it so much, I can see it finished, it just needs to be done the right way. This time? Confidence is high!

Still working on my current WIP with only about 60 more pages to go. Not much in the grand scheme of novelizing.

I figured out a way to write while on our road trip. I bought a spiral notebook. I will be writing at every opportunity, and then transcribing when I get home.

Good luck with your editing process, Julie. I hope things work out without you going crazy.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I love my writing notebooks. I've also been known to write on napkins, church programs, and flyers. Whatever you have handy so the ideas don't get forgotten. Sounds like you're totally prepared.

As for going crazy, I think I'm already there. Ha! Crazy calling, crazy calling . . .

Jon Spell said...

Julie, I think it's about time to take one of those power walks and get out of the house. (hope you have lots of shade on your walk)

Debra, I was going to suggest picking up an AlphaSmart, but the price is higher than I remember. I got one used on Ebay for $40. It's super light and will go for a year on a set of 3 AA batteries. (Has limitations, but useful and portable) My only problems with handwritten notebooks are reading my handwriting (!) and hand cramps.

I tend to edit as I go, which slows me down, for sure, but I hate leaving crap on the page. (Excuse me, leaving SCRUD on the page.) I'm hoping that will mean a cleaner edit on the end.

Obviously, I can be pretty long-winded on blogs, but I had been working on a scene in my head for a week, and when I wrote it last night, it was barely a page and a half. I've read so many things about being concise and not wordy, but the result is that I have a low word count for a scene. =(

I don't mean this as an insult in any way, but most women can out talk any man. I wonder if that's a contributing factor to the male-female ratio among authors.

Tracy Krauss said...

five times + is my norm (or more) I find that I usually run out of ink when trying to print stuff off though, although this is a great method.

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I edit my stuff over and over again as I write. You don't want to know how many times I go over my manuscript.

I'm trying to use alpha readers, beta readers and critique partners more this time around. It's easier to find people now that I'm published.

I've taken into account what reviewers have written about my previous book. Also, for the first time ever, I'm going to read my ms out loud, which might kill me.

And, being a procrastinator, I've finally taken the time to write my character bible, which is helping me make sure I have all my details straight.