Editing—Bane of a Writer’s Existence

There is no fast and easy way when it comes to a writer editing their manuscripts.

  We have to take solace though, knowing we can type our work out. What if we had to still write on stone or wood, or use ink and a feather. Our books would take for-ever to write. And editing that work…we could forget about it.

Funny enough, it seems to be easier to edit the work of others and my kids’ favorite one–correcting their grammar. With the increase of editing and grammar software, one might think the editing woes are over. Not so fast…because as writers we still have to follow our sense of direction in the work we put out.

We can hire a professional editor to do it for us. Unfortunately, we still have to go behind them to proofread and re-edit some of their edits. That’s just how it goes. Only we know our work. But if I might make some suggestions–don’t accept suggested changes from a software or a professional (no matter how good they are) if it veers off the language you are trying to convey in your story. Don’t change some of your story’s voice or feel to make it fit because you will have to change a lot more…unless you want to change the story. And finally, don’t hold back too much of yourself because someone else thinks it’s a bit much.

Remember, the very thing you think readers won’t get or won’t like about you or your work…could be the very thing they’ll love about you and your work. Our readers/fans are smart, so give them the credit and unleash your best.

Here are some easy tips for editing (or easier said than done tips):

* Instead of sitting down to an evening full of editing angst, you could do hourly blocks of edits a chapter at a time.

Avoid re-reading your favorite parts of the chapter until you are finished with that chapters edits. And remember to jot down little things that stand out. You might not think it’s important at the time, but it will be hindrance down the line when you forget to remove an ever so tiny detail that pops up in another chapter.

This one is a sort of Catch 22: You can try doing chapter edits at random times like when you’re bored and you think you have nothing to do. That means you have extra time on your hands and you maybe able to knock out more than a chapter or two of edits. Or, you can schedule your edits for a specific time daily or weekly. Some writers work better with a set routine. Choose the one that fits your lifestyle the best.

Those are just a few tips. Here’s a pet peeve–trying to edit as you write your story. This is the biggest hindrance of all because the flow you write at will slow and stall fast.

Now to the brass tacks. I would love to hear from other writers using an editing software. Leave a comment and let us know what works for your editing pleasures. I would love to do an experiment as well to see which editing and grammar software gives the best results. There’s Grammarly, Whitesmoke, Editor 4.0 and others for a price. And then there are the free ones like Pro Writing Aid, Auto Crit Editing Wizard and others.

If anyone is interested in joining me on the quest for quality editing software, let me know. We shouldn’t have to purchase any software unless we want to. Downloading free trials would work best for this experiment.

Originally blogged on Realm Play on 5/14/2013

Categories: Self Publishing and The Writing Life.


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