Wednesday, February 29, 2012

writing inspiration - editing

A year and a half ago I wrote a book.

Three months ago, I re-wrote the same book.

A month ago, I revised the re-written book.

Now, I'm editing the revision of the re-written book.

And I'm starting to feel like my life is made up of Coke Zero and this:


Tips to stay sane and accomplish quality editing while you're in the throws of editing:

1. Take breaks. The longer you stare at the screen and re-read the same paragraph will only make you crazy. Sometimes a fresh look on a later day will help you see how to clearly clean up your sentences.

2. Don't delete. If you're not using track changes, then make sure you save each edit, so your earlier versions aren't destroyed. Sometimes you'll go back and find you liked your original better.

3. Share it. When you get stumped, pass it onto a friend or a beta-reader to flush out the issues.

4. Read. When you're boggled, pick up a good book. Sometimes reading someone's edited work helps you see where you're work lacks the finesse it needs.

Do you have any editing tips to share?  

28 SPLURTS:

David P. King said...

Excellent tips, especially taking a break.

Editing is my favorite part of the process. It's sitting down and drafting something from scratch that's rough for me. :)

Kate said...

Ha ha! I can't tell you how often words look like they're spelled wrong to me. Like the word cook. Doesn't that just look odd?

Good luck with your editing. I'm in the middle of a rewrite myself.

J. A. Bennett said...

Love these tips, and boy do I need them today. Thank you Love!

Emily R. King said...

That quote is awesome! I do that all the time.
Take lots of Coke Zero breaks, and have fun editing! : )

Patti said...

I agree with all of those, especially taking a break. Sometimes leaving it for a few days allows you to have fresher eyes. I'm trying to decide whether to go back and edit a book or move on to another project.

Iain said...

I have two tips to share:
1) Don't run with Scissors.
2) Listen to Erin's tips. She makes sense.

Cristina said...

what Iain said. LOL

and YES!!! you are the winner on my blog. I was trying to find an email but... I don't know, I often get lost.... email me your address and I'll mail you the book as soon as this snow storm gets out of my way :)

cris.dossantos@yahoo.com

cherie said...

I take a lot of breaks, for sure. It really helps to have a CP. Even when I printed out my ms to try some editing on my own, I still failed to see a lot of my errors. Then when my CP got my edits back to me, I was like, Hallelujah! I printed out her feedback so I could comb through my ms and change what needs to be changed.

And oh, it helps to have a snack to motivate you along. Like cake...mmm, cake.

Btw, I was staring at the word "mutter" last night (it was past midnight, ok?), and it became so strange I couldn't remember what it meant anymore or if it was even a word. Mutter, mutter, mutter. Turned me into a nutter.Ha!

Happy editing!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Outline! Hehehehe.

Peanut M&Ms, making a revising plan, and taking someone out to the OG in exchange for them reading the book out loud to you.

Angela Cothran said...

Great tips! I delete and forget. I might have to rethink that.

i'm erin. said...

Iain, I want to move to England just so you can be in my writer's group and make me giggle unceremoniously.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

So what do I do when I think it sucks. This is where I am in edits. It's well-intentioned garbage and I don't think I can fix it.
*Sigh* Maybe it's time to set it aside for a while and start editing one of my other stories. Editing it until I think it's a hopeless mess. Set it aside.
Repeat.

I wish editing was my favorite part...

i'm erin. said...

Shelly, I only write well-intentioned garbage! ha ha. It's all good. I've noticed a lot of well intentioned garbage gets pubbed.

Angela Brown said...

These are great tips, especially the "take a break" tip. That one really helps to maintain one's sanity.

I don't like editing and I doubt it likes me back. Must be a mutual dislike.

I hope your revisions go well.

Jessie Humphries said...

Hah, as if you let anyone beta read you ms! GIVE IT HERE!

Jeigh said...

Sending it to CPs, definitely. Sometimes I can't even seem to string a sentence together properly, so they have to straighten it out for me.

Also, reading helps when I'm stumped, but if I read something too good (Hi, Hunger Games), it just makes me feel like too much of a poser. So I like to read *slightly* dumb books.

Tobi Summers said...

Set goals. That's been a big problem for me lately is that I set writing goals for myself, but no editing goals, and therefore I kind of... stopped editing. So my tip is set goals, and reward yourself for hitting them.

Thanks for your tips! And the quote (which is so, so true)!

Tara Tyler said...

that is wonderful advice

another way to take a break is to do a prompt or blogfest that will help you look at your wip in another way =)

Stacy Henrie said...

Since I tend towards brevity, I'm typically adding words when I'm editing. It helps me to have an idea where I'm going to plug in the new scenes or moments before I start adding them in. Good luck with the editing!

Ruth Josse said...

Well you could do what I did and abandon the editing in a bit of a hissy fit and then begin something new. But I think your tips are better.

Jenny S. Morris said...

This is all great advice. Good luck on the edits.

James Duckett said...

Ha! Good one. That reminds me of something stupid I did in my youth. Might make for a good blog post....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can relate to that sign!
Read it out loud, especially dialogue. Easier to spot the crappy parts that way.

Leigh Covington said...

You're so awesome! And I love these tips. So true! I hate when I keep looking at the word, "WAS" wondering if that's really how you spell it! lol

Sarah Pearson said...

The only tip I have to share is 'damn well sit down and get started!'. (Yes, that one may be aimed entirely at me :-))

Alexis Bass Writes said...

I love and support this list 100%. Editing is HARD. We need Coke Zero and reading and sharing and track changes!! Good luck! Happy editing!

Sophia Chang said...

heehee. Spoken like a true NaNoRevYe-yer!

Keisha Azzalea said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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