Think Tank || Your Editing Tips!

IT'S HALFWAY THROUGH NANO & who wants to think about editing?   ...Yeah, I didn't think so.  But rather than thinking about editing your work-in-progress, I want to think about editing as a whole - & particularly how you confront it.

personally, i hate editing

I feel no creative gush while editing as I do when I'm writing a first draft.  Parsing, examining, patching up holes, trying to add more story to a flow that was so organic at the outset...not a lot of fun for me!  But editing has to happen because none of us can write a perfect manuscript on the first try.  Sad, but true.  Since I've got one eye on the market for editing tips anyway, I thought I'd throw out a forum for my followers.

share your editing tips!

Yes, do!  So many people have such beneficial insight into editing which I // you // others might never have thought of before.  I want to compile all your advice & put it together in a followup post.  Do it for science!  Do it for your children!  Do it for the future of the human race!  Also do it for me because I hate editing & I need help.

3 ripostes:

  1. My biggest tip is to read it aloud to myself. This helps me catch repetitive words/phrasing, and make sure it's flowing properly.

  2. I'm a strange creature who loves editing. Well, most of the time. One thing I've found helpful when figuring out what to keep and what to cut, is to evaluate what the story would look like if you didn't have that scene. Would the story survive? Would it still make sense? If not, it's valuable enough to keep. If it's unnecessary, either cut it or alter the scene so it pulls it's own weight.

  3. I love editing so far as I don't HAVE TO CUT AWAY ANYTHING!!! PLEASE NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Haha, but I actually love the process of perfecting, and changing words, paragraphs and scenes/characterizations and details to build a richer world and picture. It's hard, REALLY hard, but it satisfies the perfectionist little creature in me I guess =). if you need to edit as in CUT scenes, get a third-party involved. I got my sister to help me edit/cut and rewrite my scenes for a short-story competition and she was amazing (though it hurt at first). She was able to do the brutal thing and say "nah, that is a pointless scene" (ouch, my poor heart!)

    Also give your writing space and then coming back and reading it to oneself as if it was a novel from the library. the flaws pop up strongly at you and often one can see what should be changed...