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Susan Littlefield
07-12-2010, 09:01 AM
I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?

Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?

Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?

How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?

At my paying work, when I edit legal writing, I generally tend to do so in my word processing program. Sometimes, if the document is extremely lengthy, I print it out and review.

For my creative writing, I tend to print it all out once completed and go through my story to see what has been missed. With my novel, it has been a combination of on screen and hand editing on hard copy. My novel is done, I have edited and revised, and I am now working on a final edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

scarletpeaches
07-12-2010, 09:05 AM
I print out the first draft and go over it with my big red biro which is actually a blue one, but red sounds more editorial.

Mark up any changes to be made, highlight typos, score through unneeded dialogue and the like.

Transfer any changes from the print-out to the MS Word document.

Re-save it under a new title. It goes from "Title - MASTER" to "Title - MANUSCRIPT".

And that's me done. After a read-through on my ereader to check for typos, I sub it. The whole process never takes longer than a fortnight, depending on the length of the manuscript. Ten days is standard.

Ryan_Sullivan
07-12-2010, 10:14 AM
I edit the beginning incessantly. If I can't get myself to write, or if I'm having doubts, I go back and read through it quietly aloud to get into my characters head again. I go through that weekly for a while, but once I get 1/3-1/2 through, I have all the drive I need to just finish. Then, I do very little revision. I write semi-slowly, and carefully, so I've thought about each sentence as I write it, and in doing so, I don't need as much revision.

CAWriter
07-12-2010, 10:24 AM
I have a system that works for me. After getting down the original idea (in my creative-brain mode), I engage the critical side and go through it several times.

First I look for things that don't belong, next I make sure everything is really in the right order, and finally I polish the prose. The final version can take 2 or 3 times.

Each of these steps means I don't send anything out until it's been re-worked at least 4 times.

The first round of edits can be done straight on the computer, but I catch more when I print it out and read through it. I color code with highlighters and colored editing pens so I know which version I'm on.

Medievalist
07-12-2010, 10:31 AM
I edit and proof on hard copy, even if the publisher uses Track Changes in MSWord.

MissMacchiato
07-12-2010, 11:14 AM
I'm used to writing university papers, where I edit as I write. Write a section, refine it, write a section, refine it. When I'm done, I'll edit the thing as a whole and make sure it's cohesive, but I definitely edit as I go along. It's a habit I am desperately trying to break actually!

In terms of how, I read aloud, and change as necessary. I do like to split things into sections to edit, so with my current WIP, I will reread a chapter or a scene and edit it if I'm stuck on ideas for another bit, and through refining that section, I find solutions to my ideas.

I like editing in hard copy but usually do it as a word document just for convenience.

C.T. Richmond
07-12-2010, 04:21 PM
I tend to edit as I write, but this is something I'm trying to change since it takes me so long to finish a first draft!

Once I do have a finished draft, I print it out and go through it with a pen. Then I type in the changes and read through the manuscript again on my laptop. Usually, I repeat this process a few more times until I feel confident with it.

I actually like the editing process. It's the hammering-out-the-rough-draft process that I have a tough time with.

seun
07-12-2010, 04:26 PM
I give my wife a copy; she reads it and tells me what works, what doesn't and where I've made mistakes. We go through it together and I sometimes spot more cock ups. Then I go through it on screen to sort out that stuff before giving it a final read through aloud.

Becky Black
07-12-2010, 04:46 PM
Big to small is my general method.

I don't edit as I go - well, very minimally. Finish the draft first and let it simmer for a bit, then I go back to it. The process is generally something like this:

First I read the whole thing. In as few sittings as possible. On paper, just regualr single spaced print. No red pen, not marking anything up.

After I'm done sobbing - I mean reading - I'll make some notes to myself about the big picture things I think need changing. I'm an outliner, so hopefully the plot already hangs together fairly well as I've figured that out before I started writing. But there'll always be some changes to make.

I make a new scene by scene outline of the story as it is now, in MS One Note. Just a line per scene. Then I start shuffling that around, marking any that I'll cut, noting where I'll add a new scene, marking scenes that I know will need big rewrites. Then I shuffle the manuscript into that order. I might draft the new scenes at this stage. Might not. Depends how I feel.

Read again. Does the plot work better now. Of course there are quirks, because rewites are still needed to accomodate things that have been cut, added or rearranged, but I should be able to get a good idea. I will add comments and notes as I go along this time, especially where I need to remember to rewrite something because of the changes, but they'll still be fairly big picture notes.

Then I choose chapters. If I had them already they might have been messed up by the reshuffle. I generally don't have them already though, do now is the time I start deciding on them. I mark them on my rearranged outline in One Note. This outline is very important by this stage, it's giving me a good high level picture of the story. I use lot of flags and stuff in One Note to label scenes as various types of action, whose POV they are in, stuff like that. I also found it very useful in my sold novel to help me create the synopsis for my query.

By this point I should hopefully be happy with the structure of the story at least. Things will still end up being tweaked as I edit the actual text, I'm always flexible. But now I'm ready to get down to the nitty gritty!

I print the markup copy. I might do the whole thing at once, or I might do it a chapter at a time (to accomodate that flexibilty.) Double spaced, single sided, loads of room to write on. Then I attack that sucker with my red pen. I mark up a chapter and that one chapter only, then apply the edits to the document. I try not to even think too much about the great hulking mass of the rest of the MS, that's too scary! Right now I'm editing THIS chapter. Of course, I'll be back later for tweaking. But basically I edit the hell outta that chapter and then I'm done with it for now and can move on to the next. If I haven't already written new scenes I write them at this stage and edit them with the rest of the chapter.

So that's the way I usually do it. Big to small is my guiding principle. I'm not going to waste time correcting typos in a scene I may cut entirely later! So the old red pen is probably the final weapon in the armoury.

Susan Littlefield
07-12-2010, 06:08 PM
For those of you who write short stories and longer works (novels, nonfiction books) find that the editing process is different? Short story- write it, print it out, go through it once hard copy, edit and submit. Book- I wish it was that easy to just do the same, but it seems to be more extensive for me.

SadieCass
07-12-2010, 06:17 PM
Big to small is my general method

This is me too.

I'm not an outliner - I like to write organically, but that can often leave big gaping holes in the road to completion. Plot, character, all of that is minimal in my first draft (as is wc). I write to get the story out.

Then I sit back and look at it, or ignore it (depending on the mood of the slave-driver known as my muse) until the brilliant idea of how to fix it comes along.

After that we go into the second draft. I write chapter-by-chapter so at each chapters end I do a quick editing run before moving onto the next. This is also the stage my alpha's enter in so if any character-issues arise or plot line issues arise thanks to my muse's "brilliant" ideas I can deal with them on the spot.

Once that's done I print it out, do one major hand-edit and then transfer it all onto screen. My beta gets a gander, but mostly by then it's all minor grammar issues that I've missed. So the final edit is easy.

But that's just me.

Susan Littlefield
07-12-2010, 06:37 PM
I'm not an outliner - I like to write organically, but that can often leave big gaping holes in the road to completion. Plot, character, all of that is minimal in my first draft (as is wc). I write to get the story out.


Same here! After my second draft, when I did the big edit, I did a synopsis, because I had goofed up my time line. My novel is double plotted and time line is an important aspect to keeping the story straight.


After that we go into the second draft. I write chapter-by-chapter so at each chapters end I do a quick editing run before moving onto the next. This is also the stage my alpha's enter in so if any character-issues arise or plot line issues arise thanks to my muse's "brilliant" ideas I can deal with them on the spot.

I do this as well. In a larger work, it is so easy to miss parts. When I start working on another novel (after this one is ready for submission), I plan on keeping a notepad handy for notes along the way.


Once that's done I print it out, do one major hand-edit and then transfer it all onto screen. My beta gets a gander, but mostly by then it's all minor grammar issues that I've missed. So the final edit is easy.

My critique group is wonderful. They will get the portions they have not yet critiqued. Not much left, but some. I have about 3 people already set up to be readers.

kaitiepaige17
07-12-2010, 06:51 PM
I'm trying to switch up my editing technique a bit, because my current one just isn't working for me.

Now, I've started writing a chapter and when I get done with it I read it again and edit until I feel it's okay. Then I start the next chapter. Wash, rinse, repeat.

kaitiepaige17
07-12-2010, 06:53 PM
I actually like the editing process. It's the hammering-out-the-rough-draft process that I have a tough time with.

Same here.

Summonere
07-12-2010, 07:19 PM
Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit,

Yes, most of the time.


or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?

Almost never. This almost always proves disastrous and destructive.


Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?

Both.


How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?

Twice. Write first draft. Fix all the mistakes of the first draft in the second, adding things left out. Third draft is fixing the mistakes I missed in the second and, usually, cutting some of the nonsense that crept into the second draft. But sometimes I rewrite bits and pieces a good number of times because I'm not satisfied that they really captured what I was after. There's rarely maybe never any significant structural change to the work.


For those of you who write short stories and longer works (novels, nonfiction books) find that the editing process is different?

No, not really.

Jamesaritchie
07-12-2010, 08:37 PM
I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?

Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?

Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?

How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?

At my paying work, when I edit legal writing, I generally tend to do so in my word processing program. Sometimes, if the document is extremely lengthy, I print it out and review.

For my creative writing, I tend to print it all out once completed and go through my story to see what has been missed. With my novel, it has been a combination of on screen and hand editing on hard copy. My novel is done, I have edited and revised, and I am now working on a final edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.


I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?

Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?

Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?

How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?

At my paying work, when I edit legal writing, I generally tend to do so in my word processing program. Sometimes, if the document is extremely lengthy, I print it out and review.

For my creative writing, I tend to print it all out once completed and go through my story to see what has been missed. With my novel, it has been a combination of on screen and hand editing on hard copy. My novel is done, I have edited and revised, and I am now working on a final edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

I do pretty much all my editing and reading on the computer.

When I write something I see is bad, I fix it on the spot. Why allow a clunky sentence or a bad bit of dialogue go unchanged? I might miss it later.

When the first draft is finished, I go back to the beginning and read it straight through, making mental notes of what needs to be changed. Then I go through and change it. I usually don't have to worry about grammar or punctuation, so my second "draft" consists of tightening through cutting anything unnecessary, and by turning two sentences into one, or one into two, for better flow. I also rewrite any clunky sentences I might have missed.

Then I submit it. Anything else that gets changed/rewritten will be because an editor asks for changes, and I agree with them.

linfred4
07-12-2010, 09:52 PM
Well, I do the same thing as you Jamesaritchie. I write and as I go if there is something that needs to be fixed I fix it.
But once the story is done I go over it and from page to page so if there is something that I needs to be edited I write the page number down and same with add things.
But don't get me wrong if its something good I want to add it right away. So, I do go through my story a few times and then my best friend she go's over it and then we get together and fix it.
I do the same for her, not that I am saying she or I are the greatest at gammar and spelling because we aren't but she has been punlished more then once.

cwfgal
07-12-2010, 10:17 PM
I'm an outliner so I typically know where I'm going with the story and who the characters are ahead of time. I edit as I write, rereading previous work each time I sit down to write and editing on screen as I go. When I reach the halfway mark (I'm talking novels only here) I typically print out what I have and reread/edit on paper, making notes about future scenes, plotting points, continuity, etc. I often discover/come up with detours from the original outline at this point so I incorporate those. I then enter these changes and continue writing to the end, again editing and detouring as I go. My first draft when it's done is pretty tight and close to finished product. I print the entire first draft out and do one more edit on paper. After entering thsoe changes, it's good to go.

When I was freelancing and doing shorter works, I still always did at least one paper edit. I find it easier to see certain necessary changes on paper.

Beth

Susan Littlefield
07-12-2010, 11:43 PM
When I write something I see is bad, I fix it on the spot. Why allow a clunky sentence or a bad bit of dialogue go unchanged? I might miss it later.

When the first draft is finished, I go back to the beginning and read it straight through, making mental notes of what needs to be changed. Then I go through and change it. I usually don't have to worry about grammar or punctuation, so my second "draft" consists of tightening through cutting anything unnecessary, and by turning two sentences into one, or one into two, for better flow. I also rewrite any clunky sentences I might have missed.

Then I submit it. Anything else that gets changed/rewritten will be because an editor asks for changes, and I agree with them.

James, this makes sense. One of my goals with my creative writing is to learn how to fix it right then and there. Sure, I we all miss things, but I think thinking about the words we put down and trying to make it correct the first time is important. Thank goodness, spelling, grammar, and punctuation are not my shortfalls. However, many other things are!

Matera the Mad
07-13-2010, 07:18 AM
I'd rather do it than blather about it.

Soccer Mom
07-13-2010, 06:26 PM
I'd rather do it than blather about it.

Not really helpful. This is a message board. We're here to blather, in this case about editing. If you don't care to discuss a subject, there's no need to blather in the thread.

Libbie
07-13-2010, 07:12 PM
I read through it and fix anything that jumps out at me as being stupid, nonsensical, incorrect, or disappointing. Then I send it to my agent and let her tell me what still sucks.

I've got an agent, so I have a built-in edit-checker. But I had the same approach when I didn't have an agent. I read through it once and fixed what jumped out at me. Otherwise, I trusted that I'd written a good story and that my prose was generally good.

The process is the same for me whether I'm talking about short of long fiction.

cameron_chapman
07-13-2010, 09:27 PM
It depends for me. If I don't need major structural edits (I'm getting better about not needing those kinds of edits, but the first few novels I wrote all needed some pretty massive rewriting), then I usually make one pass to clean up language, tighten things up, remove unnecessary stuff, etc. and then another just for proofreading to make sure I didn't take out anything important.

Occasionally I might change the tense or POV.

I go back and forth between printing things out to revise or just revising on-screen. If I know I might need major changes, I'll print it out. If not, then usually I'll just open the old document and a new one, and then retype into the new file, changing things and reworking them as needed. I don't cut and paste, but sometimes I retype things verbatim. I shrink both windows so I can put the old one at the top of the screen and the new one at the bottom (showing about 8-10 lines at a time).

aadams73
07-13-2010, 10:28 PM
I do pretty much all my editing and reading on the computer.

When I write something I see is bad, I fix it on the spot. Why allow a clunky sentence or a bad bit of dialogue go unchanged? I might miss it later.

When the first draft is finished, I go back to the beginning and read it straight through, making mental notes of what needs to be changed. Then I go through and change it. I usually don't have to worry about grammar or punctuation, so my second "draft" consists of tightening through cutting anything unnecessary, and by turning two sentences into one, or one into two, for better flow. I also rewrite any clunky sentences I might have missed.


A lot like this, but with crying, screaming, laughing, and the kind of cursing that would make a sailor blush. My first drafts are relatively clean, although there's always a little fleshing out to do because I write on the skimpy side.

shaldna
07-13-2010, 11:12 PM
I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?

well there's alot of wine involved for a start.


Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?

I always finish and then go back.


Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?


I make notes on page as I read through, and then I make changes in track changes


How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?

once.

Susan Littlefield
07-13-2010, 11:14 PM
This is my second edit and read-through of my novel. I don't mind finding those areas that need tightening up, but it's frustrating to find a whole conversation that is not coming across the way I intend. Time to rework it for the effect that I need.

MikeGrant
07-14-2010, 02:12 PM
I edit as I write. Always have, always will.

I know that racing to the end of the first draft and then revising works for many other people, so I won't ever dismiss it, but for me personally the thought of having to completely rip apart 100,000 words when something really doesn't work, makes me depressed.

Editing as I go doubtless means that I go slower, but I've got more time to think about things and resolve any story problems there and then. In the novel I'm currently trying to sell, I've torn apart the minutiae in subsequent drafts (horrible sentence construction, bad dialogue etc), but I had comparatively little need to edit much of the structure or plot because they were set in stone and worked.

If I'd raced ahead to the end before looking back, the story might have turned out like my initial notes. Which, looking back, were HORRIBLE. :)

I guess I'm one of those writers whose concepts evolve a lot over the writing process, and much of that happens while I'm editing the chunks I've already written.

Valerie J. Long
07-14-2010, 02:53 PM
I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?

Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed? Usually, if I spot anything I don't like during writing, I go back and fix it immediately. Often it's a missing hint, a link to the current situation, or a logical flaw that causes me trouble. As I have to interrupt my writing now and then, for paid work or sleep, I may have to go back and read a part to refresh my memory. On that occasion, something may catch my attention.
Other than that, I finish my story, then go back to the start and re-read it once or twice. Then it goes out to my readers, one chapter a day, and they'll inevitably spot anything I missed.
After posting the entire story, I will re-read and edit the story again, before it will go into the printed book.

Only these thoroughly tested stories then will be translated to English, edited once again for language issues, and submitted to my publisher, where a professional editor will take care of it.


Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?First run is done on screen, in my WP. When I don't find any more errors this way, I print the entire story and read it again, only to find more errors, either typos or sentences that don't flow well.


How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent? Many times, as often as necessary... basically, until I don't find any more errors.
Cheers,
Valerie

Mr Flibble
07-14-2010, 03:39 PM
A big fat mess is what it looks like :D

Okay my first draft will be full of notes such as XXinsert name of pubXX or XXcheck what he said earlier, does this matchXXX or XXresearch thisXX or XXshould this come before the bit with the pineapple or after?XX

First thing I do in edits is run a check for XX and deal with all those bits. THat's what takes most time usually. Then I read through for flow and consistency(usually on the PC, poor trees, don't want to waste them) and logic fails. While I'm at it I tweak clunky sentences, check for passive language etc.

Basically I smooth things so it all flows (I hope) and fill in any gaps. Other than the XX notes, it doesn't take too long as each writing session I re-read what I wrote last time and tweak. The re-reading gets me back into the story and I smooth as I go.

At that point I usually send to betas. Though I did miss a XXX good gods woman this has more cheese than an explosion in a cheddar factory!XXX once...

KTC
07-14-2010, 03:44 PM
I don't edit until I finish the first draft completely. I never look back until that is done.

I always print out the manuscript for the first edit...and mark it with a red pen. If I'm adding prose anywhere...I put in an arrow to the back of the page and write it there. Then, I go through the entire thing making the changes in MSWord.

Second edit, I do on screen...from first word to last.

Third edit...print out manuscript and mark with red ink...and then transfer to MSWord.

It sometimes becomes a cycle after this, as I am OCD. (-:

I don't edit until I finish the first draft completely. I never look back until that is done.

I always print out the manuscript for the first edit...and mark it with a red pen. If I'm adding prose anywhere...I put in an arrow to the back of the page and write it there. Then, I go through the entire thing making the changes in MSWord.

Second edit, I do on screen...from first word to last.

Third edit...print out manuscript and mark with red ink...and then transfer to MSWord.

It sometimes becomes a cycle after this, as I am OCD. (-:

I don't edit until I finish the first draft completely. I never look back until that is done.

I always print out the manuscript for the first edit...and mark it with a red pen. If I'm adding prose anywhere...I put in an arrow to the back of the page and write it there. Then, I go through the entire thing making the changes in MSWord.

Second edit, I do on screen...from first word to last.

Third edit...print out manuscript and mark with red ink...and then transfer to MSWord.

It sometimes becomes a cycle after this, as I am OCD. (-:

mccardey
07-14-2010, 03:47 PM
I edit as I go. Then print out for beta. When I get the results of that, I save my last doc under the Draft Two name and work the changes in. Rinse and repeat.

KTC
07-14-2010, 03:50 PM
I give my wife a copy; she reads it and tells me what works, what doesn't and where I've made mistakes. We go through it together and I sometimes spot more cock ups. Then I go through it on screen to sort out that stuff before giving it a final read through aloud.

i also trust my wife's judgement. she's honest and thoughtful...and a lifetime reader. i do out loud readings too. AMAZING what errors you find...well, not so much errors as rough patches. easily cleaned up. stuff you wouldn't catch if you didn't read out loud. little awkwardnesses.

Bartholomew
07-14-2010, 04:09 PM
Editing for me looks like a shock of white hair, and seemingly-fine segments of prose encircled by random coffee stains. :)

Susan Littlefield
07-14-2010, 06:33 PM
I don't edit until I finish the first draft completely. I never look back until that is done.

I always print out the manuscript for the first edit...and mark it with a red pen. If I'm adding prose anywhere...I put in an arrow to the back of the page and write it there. Then, I go through the entire thing making the changes in MSWord.

Second edit, I do on screen...from first word to last.

Third edit...print out manuscript and mark with red ink...and then transfer to MSWord.

It sometimes becomes a cycle after this, as I am OCD. (-:

I don't edit until I finish the first draft completely. I never look back until that is done.

I always print out the manuscript for the first edit...and mark it with a red pen. If I'm adding prose anywhere...I put in an arrow to the back of the page and write it there. Then, I go through the entire thing making the changes in MSWord.

Second edit, I do on screen...from first word to last.

Third edit...print out manuscript and mark with red ink...and then transfer to MSWord.

It sometimes becomes a cycle after this, as I am OCD. (-:

I don't edit until I finish the first draft completely. I never look back until that is done.

I always print out the manuscript for the first edit...and mark it with a red pen. If I'm adding prose anywhere...I put in an arrow to the back of the page and write it there. Then, I go through the entire thing making the changes in MSWord.

Second edit, I do on screen...from first word to last.

Third edit...print out manuscript and mark with red ink...and then transfer to MSWord.

It sometimes becomes a cycle after this, as I am OCD. (-:

WOW! :D

Alitriona
07-17-2010, 06:26 AM
I tried editing in hard copy once, it didn't suit me and it was expensive to print. It tooks me an age to get though it. I find it easier to do it on the computer screen using track changes. That's just me. I need several re-writes before it ever gets to a beta.

MJ Goodnow
07-17-2010, 08:08 AM
When I edit it is, by the time I am done, a game of connect the dots. Rehash, re-think, rewrite then re-edit.

Works for me.

Kitty27
07-17-2010, 10:16 PM
I edit only when I am finished. If I edit and write at the same time,it slows me down.

I go back and go over every line. I am a vivid shade of purple type writer and my grammar isn't always perfect. So I focus on those two issues the most.

Dave.C.Robinson
07-18-2010, 08:14 AM
I do some editing as I go along. If something jumps out at me as needing changing it gets changed then and there. I don't see the point of leaving it if I know it's wrong.

What I don't do is go back through the whole manuscript at this stage looking for errors. If they jump out at me, they get fixed; if they don't, they survive this pass.

Then, once I'm finished the first draft, I go through and edit for more than just clunky writing.

I do most editing on screen - I generally put the manuscript on my left monitor and open another document (usually just a text file) and make notes there. I also use Word's track changes and comment features as tools to remind me of what I need to work on.

It works for me.

artemis31386
07-19-2010, 04:40 AM
I print and go over it with a big red pen and some sheets of lined paper, adding or taking out as appropriate. Then I go back to my computer after a couple of chapters and add what I worked on.

When it comes back from my editor, that's a different story. It looks like someone threw a track changes bomb for comments. I read them and work on it.

Susan Littlefield
07-19-2010, 08:19 AM
Somehow I missed the replies here the last couple of days. It's interesting to see how people edit differently. No right or wrong way.

I'd like to learn how to just edit and I go. This way, when I do my whole book edit (because we all miss things!), I will have less clean-up. This is a learning process though.

Sassy3421
07-19-2010, 09:00 AM
for myself sometimes I wonder if there's an end to the editing process. sigh... it just seems there's always something that can be tweaked here or there. everyone that has read any of my books have enjoyed them, but I am somewhat a perfectionist and know I can do better. (kind of my own worst enemy so the saying goes...)

The other part too is, as I grow with the help of reading books on the craft, the people on this site, and from practice, I see other areas that could be improved/strengthened that I might have missed on other pass throughs. I don't think I'll ever consider a work / editing complete until it's on the store shelves, and I'd probably still be able to pick up a pen and change something lol

But as far as the basic process, I do the same as some others have mentioned here - print off the first draft, let it sit (usually about 1 mon) and then read it as if I pulled off the store shelf. From there is the rip it apart process. make sure everything lines up, sentences make sense and don't slow down the story. I add more depth to characters etc.

I'm still working on the perfect editing solution for myself. I'd like to at least wrap it up in a less time consuming manner. I do most edits hard copy and then enter later. Wish I could get it down to one or three times through. maybe one day.

omega12596
07-19-2010, 10:35 AM
I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?
Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?
Unless I've been delayed for a few days, I limit myself to re-reading only the last two paragraphs of what I wrote. In this way, I don't bind myself up rethinking the entire work and instead continue to move the story forward. I only begin editing once a piece is completed.

Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?
Both. I read through and edit what I see. Then I read aloud - this helps me most with dialogue - and fix what sounds wonky. Then I print it out and go through it backwards... Dear god, this takes forever, but I usually catch everything I can by this point. Then I send it off to beta readers and critique partners.

How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?
Those four steps, period. If the piece isn't polished by that point, LOL, I don't think it will ever be good enough to send out.

At my paying work, when I edit legal writing, I generally tend to do so in my word processing program. Sometimes, if the document is extremely lengthy, I print it out and review.
For my creative writing, I tend to print it all out once completed and go through my story to see what has been missed. With my novel, it has been a combination of on screen and hand editing on hard copy. My novel is done, I have edited and revised, and I am now working on a final edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

Sounds like you have a good strategy :D

timewaster
07-19-2010, 01:53 PM
I'm curious about how other writers handle the editing phase. When you are ready to edit, what does this look like for you?

Do you finish your story/novel/article first and then edit, or do you go back several times while writing to try and figure out what you missed?

Do you edit by hand, or do you edit with your word processor? Or, do you utilize a combination of both?

How many times do you edit a piece before submission to a magazine, publisher or agent?

At my paying work, when I edit legal writing, I generally tend to do so in my word processing program. Sometimes, if the document is extremely lengthy, I print it out and review.

For my creative writing, I tend to print it all out once completed and go through my story to see what has been missed. With my novel, it has been a combination of on screen and hand editing on hard copy. My novel is done, I have edited and revised, and I am now working on a final edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.


It depends. Sometimes I do rolling revisions, revising the previous days' output before I start the next.
At the end I usually print it out, mark it up and do everything over a couple of days. I didn't do that with the last one though, I just did everything on screen. I already had an idea of what I wanted to do so I just did it.

Susan Littlefield
07-19-2010, 06:06 PM
I can edit on the screen to a point, but I always seem to miss stuff. If I print it out, I find those silly errors easier to locate.

Otterella
07-20-2010, 09:34 PM
I edit as I go, and let my story grow organically. If I get stumped, I'll go back and flesh out or hack 'n' slash other sections, which usually unlocks whatever was blocking the forward progression of the story.