Since I was told people would be interested in hearing about the writing and editing process, I figured I’d talk a little about how I go about editing (especially since that’s what I’m working on right now). This is the brief explanation of the basics.
When trying to edit my first novel, I did the whole print it out and take a red pen to it. That was handy but I found it far too much work for a first run through of edits. A huge mess of bleeding red ink is quite daunting. I think that technique works better when you’re more towards the end of the editing journey.
Second time around, I decided to put my copy of Word to good use and use the track changes feature. I love that I can look back and see what I changed in case I decide to keep something in, it’s right there for me to see. When I make deletions or corrections, they get struck through with a red line and your new stuff pops up next to it. Sounds good, right? It’s not bad but it ends up being very confusing to follow if you’re trying to go back and do some re-reading before moving on to more corrections.
Third time, I kept tracking my changes but then I would copy and paste each corrected paragraph into a whole new document. By doing it that way, only the good stuff shows up. None of those red strikes or side comments. It’s a nice and clean way to do it, but be aware that it could cause some damage to your formatting so when you’re all done make sure you select all and keep the font and indentations and margins, etc. the same for the entire document otherwise there will be major issues when you go to convert it for digital format.
There is all the beta reading and line editing that comes in between the drafts, but that’s a process I’ve gone over before on more than one occasion. Speaking to some of my other writer friends I’ve found that no one goes about their editing quite like I do. I think it takes trial and error to figure out what works best for you. If it helps, ask around and see how other authors do it. Maybe you can take ideas from several people and work it into the perfect process for you.
How do you edit?