Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Many Layers of Editing

I came across this really great post on Popular Soda about the different types of editing out there. I thought it would be appropriate share since I've been on a critiquing kick lately.

The post gives clear examples of everything from concept edits to proofreading and the stuff that falls in between. It also talks about the benefit of starting with your big edits and ending with proofreading. This is such great advice. Just like Shrek and a humble onion, editing has lots of layers.

photo courtesy of Justin Smith

I wasted so much time on my first novel trying to edit each chapter to perfection before moving on to the next. I wish I had all the hours back I spent editing chapters that ended up getting slashed completely.

That being said, I have to do things a little out of order when I start a new editing project (hopefully I'll be doing this by later this week). Before I can focus on anything else, I have to run a spell check and get my formatting in place.

I know this is a complete waste of time, but it takes too much effort for me to ignore these things. I have a hard time concentrating on what's going on in the story when I know that the margins don't match on every page and red squiggly lines stare at me from every page.

It's worth the extra thirty minutes to run the spell check and do a format paint on the whole document. Once it's done, I can concentrate on all the other stuff that needs work.

So what about you? Do you have any quirks you work around when it comes to editing? A special food, hat, pen you need to do your best work? 

9 comments:

  1. I'm scared...I'm starting this today on Endeavor and it's so much work and I know that book has some big holes. I haven't been doing it long enough to have a good process yet. I need to do some work on that. Off to check your link...

    How are things going on Watchers???

    ReplyDelete
  2. Deep breath, Christi. I'm sure you're doing fine. Besides that's what CPs are for. I'm getting closer on Watchers so repost will go up for our next session.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I edit on screen a couple times first, looking for different things with each pass. Then I print the manuscript and break out the pink pens. I also use colored post-it flags. I love those! I mark the passage of time in one color post-it flag, major events in another, and so on. It makes revising fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I edit on screen until I can't find anything else, then print and do it all again. Colored flags are a level of awesome I have yet to achieve. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't know about quirks, but I hate editing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to hate it until I saw how much better my work was when I took the time to really edit the right way. Now I actually enjoy digging in to a good set of edits.

      Delete
  6. Yes, printing that finely edited copy always finds more needed edits. Each one feels satisfying-trimmer, meaner, sharper, more shiny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I can't even guess how many rounds of edits my current project has been through and I still find typos.

      Delete
  7. LOL, I used to edit each chapter to death before moving on to the next one. I often said I was anal like that. Luckily, I've never had to slash an entire chapter. Still, I'm learning to write the first draft first.... this is the first time I'm doing it and I'm liking it, lol

    ReplyDelete

Share the love, man...