Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Self Editing Tips

(source: theatlantic.com)

I finally have some time in between vacations this summer to post!!  I wanted to talk a little bit about self editing tips I have learned over the years.  Self editing can be problematic because once you've stared at your work over and over for weeks and months, you tend to lose objectivity.  I've learned some methods, however, that help you read with objectivity, even if it is your tenth time editing!

1. Read out loud.  This is the best tip I use.  I always find things I've missed, even if I'm reading out loud for the second or third time.  Grammatical errors, pacing, awkward sentences, character and plot inconsistancies are all easier to catch this way.

2. Read the manuscript backwards chapter by chapter.  This is especially helpful for catching grammatical stuff and awkward writing.

3. Put your scenes and sequences on sticky notes and stick them up on the wall in order to check your structure and pacing.  

4. Wait a week or two before picking it up to edit.  This also is the best advice ever.  Once you've had some distance from the manuscript you'll be surprised what pops out at you.

These are the self-editing tips I use all the time.  But after you do all these, it's STILL very important to let other people read your work.  There are things that they will notice that will be very valuable to you as you craft your story.  You need the opinions of others to produce the highest quality product.

Hope you all are having a great summer!

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