E is for Editng

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category: ,

I took an editing workshop at the beginning of this year that tought me a few things about editing. It made it much eaier for me to edit as I actually had an organized plan of attack. No, editing is always hard but with an organized approach it can be less stressful, I promise!

Here is what I learned in the workshop.

Step 1: Print a copy of your MS in some other font than you normally type with. If you type double spaced, make it single spaced before your print. (or vise versa). I usually print it out as a booklet format, as it feels almost like a real paperback. Make sure you have a pen and note paper handy too.

Step 2: Read through your MS and take small notes! Don't make any major changes! Simpley make notes for each scene or chapter as you need to.

Step 3: Now, not everyone can do this step, but I found it extremely helpful. This is also good for those that don't outline before hand, it's sort of like a post outline to help you keep on track as you edit. Go through each scene and figure out the Goal, Motivation, and Conflict of your character. Write down a one liner about each scene -- EACH scene that means all of them! When you're done you'll have a nice little outline to work with! (And guess what, you can use this later to help you write a synopsis too!)

Step 4: Now is the time to begin making changes. Look over your notes and add or take out as needed.

Step 5: Check the beginnings and endings of your scenes and chapters and make sure everything ends in a suspenseful way or begins with some sort of action. The outline will help you with the beginnings and endings to determine the best place to end or begin a chapter.

Step 6: Look at your characters - dialogue, development, etc. Make sure they aren't flat. Add or take out as needed to really make your characters come to life.

Step 7: Okay, now that you feel you have a solid plot, character development is good, and you have great beginnings and endings, go through your MS one last time to get those pesky spelling errors and grammar.

Step 8: Get someone to crit it for you. I have a few crit partners that I absolutely love and I recommend this to anyone. I know crit groups aren't for everyone, but having a specific partner or two is fabulous!

Step 9: Make any changes you need to based on the crits you get.

Step 10: Write that query and synopsis and SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT!!!

So, how about you? How do you edit your work? Do you have a set out plan or do you just go at it?

6 Responses to "E is for Editng"

Lisa Says :
April 6, 2011 at 9:09 AM

A great focus on editing. I am a constant editor. I'm called on a work frequently by coworkers to edit their documents for them. Would love the opportunity to "edit" others work. Don't know how you get into that. Thanks for the good advice.


Eric W. Trant Says :
April 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I do that #1! Funny. I change the font, and usually print it out. I only print out my "final" draft, though. The others are electronic, until I finish up the editing, and I use the commenting feature the same as I would for a buddy critique.

Changing the font has this weird effect of detaching you from the piece. It feels more like someone else's work, and you can be more objective.

- Eric

Cheree Says :
April 6, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Fantastic post. I definitely do #1. I love printing off my MS so I can make notes on it and edit on the hard copy rather than work straight on the computer.

Dawn Embers Says :
April 6, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Oh editing. That is something I get to do in a few weeks. I'm almost done with the YA rewrite so I'll take a small break and then edit. I don't know about the print out part. I like having a physical copy to use a red pen on but the actually printing out with all that paper and ink sounds crazy. But may have to do it anyways.

Great post. May be coming back later when I edit.

Trisha Says :
April 6, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Wow, this is a great method! I will have to refer to this post when it's time for my paper edit :)

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 8, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Lisa: The only way I know to get into it is to either put yourself out there as a freelance editor or apply for a position with a company. Thanks for commenting!

Eric: I agree. It's a simple change but helps a great deal to be more objective with your own writing. Thanks for stopping by! I always love your comments.

Cheree: I enjoy that too. And it's great to let my son run around in the backyard but I still get work done. Can't do that at a computer. :)

Dawn: It does take a lot of paper and ink. But, I print the book out as a booklet, so there is four pages printed on one sheet. That helps to save paper and ink, as doing so make the type a bit smaller than normal.

Trisha: Oh I didn't think to use the method for papers but I'll bet it could work quite nicely with non-fiction too! Thanks for commenting.

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