Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I think I have come up with a great editing strategy this time. Last time I tried to do everything at once and ended up making more mistakes than fixing them. How do I know this? Well, the last time I had two different critique partners who still found a lot of mistakes after the editing process, not to mention that my agent fixed a few too, before my book was submission ready. 

So now it is book two, the second book in my immortal series and I want to do a good job, so this is my new strategy. 

Step one: The read through, which will be the changing of obvious mistakes and cutting of unwanted or should I say unneeded wording.

Step two: The finding of not so obvious mistakes. Reading through the document making sure I did not miss anything the first time.

Step three: The polishing. Reading through the document again, making sure the flow is right and that it is hopefully error free.

Step four: The printout. Printing the manuscript and then reading through it again. It is amazing how easily one can miss mistakes when reading the manuscript on the computer. Also, rectifying all the mistakes, if any is found.

I have no idea how long this new strategy will take, but it should work a lot better than the “Do everything all at once” strategy I chose the last time. 

What approach do you take when editing?


  1. Sounds good. I always read my work out loud, which just gives a different perspective, and also highlights awkward sentences. I have a very muddled editing system which makes sense to me but isn't easy to explain.

  2. I try not to read it too often as I get bored with the story and then don't see the mistakes anyway. I tend to print off the first draft and leave it for a bit then go back and do a thorough read through with a notebook that I make notes for changes in(no line editing though). Then I work on the ms again from my notes and the printed copy. Then I print again and read through once more for line editing ( typos, spellings and occasional sentence construction). That's it, until someone else reads it!

  3. Annalisa - Reading your Ms out loud is a great tip. I know what you mean about your editing method being hard to explain, I suffered trying to explain everything accurately in this blog.

    Writer Pat Newcombe - What a great technique. You sound great at editing as you do not do things repetitively. I hope you don't mind, but I might just try your technique, if mine does not work.

  4. I always read my work out loud too. It's amazing how much I can find to fix using that method. I've also starting putting a copy of the manuscript on my Kindle. Changing the way I read it has unearthed a lot of mistakes.

  5. I print at every stage. I tend to take it one chapter at a time and also map out the flow across the whole thing. Good luck. Sounds like you have a good plan.

  6. I do several read throughs looking for different things. One is always plot flow - looking for logic errors, clue placement, revelations, etc. Another is for characters - description, behavior, voice. Another is for the writing - grammar, word choice, too much/too little detail, tone, pacing, and, of course, typos. It just works better for me to have a different focus for each pass.

  7. M.J. - Thank you for the tips, as I can surely get all the help I can get. Reading it in different ways definitely helps.

    Tonaj - Thank you Tonja. I am definitely taking it chapter by chapter as you suggested, as doing too much definitely does not help me or my editing process.

    LD Masterson - I completely agree with you. Though, it is the first time that I am trying a similar approach. You definitely have a great editing strategy, which I like a lot. Thank you for sharing it with me.


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