Monday, July 2, 2012

PAINLESS EDITING!

As I'm sitting on the beach this week....YES! I'm at the beach!



But I'm in my most least favorite part of the publishing book process. . . EDITING! It's the second book in A Magical Cure Series, A Charming Cure. And if you don't write mystery, you should know that I write my mystery novels backwards.


And my editor would be more happy to tell you that she has to go over my work at least twice!

I have come up with some great tips to help me and YOU get us through the editing process with a little more with ease.

1) Take your time.

I know that we have our muse and want to start writing on the next project, but if you don't slow down and take your time, your novel will suffer by not becoming the best novel it can be.

An easy way to do this, and what I have done while I'm at the beach, is to break my finished novel into four parts. Literally, I take the page count and divide it by four.

This helps me work on one section at a time and not temp myself to work ahead. I'm a tad bit lazy in this editing department and anything I can do to get through it I do. Breaking it up doesn't seem so daunting.

2) Don't worry with the meat of the bones on your first round of edits. Make sure that you have the story down. Make sure the story is going exactly where you wanted it to go. Don't worry about the dialogue tags, or the description at this point. I'm sure you have most of that in there, but we are just looking at the story structure of the novel.

3) If you are further into your editing process, change the font on your computer. We have a tendency to know our novel so well that we can skip through it as if you were skipping through a meadow of flowers on the most perfect day. Nothing jumps out. BUT if you edit in a different font than you are use to, things have a tendency to stick out a little more.

4) When you are in your final draft of editing, send it to one of your readers! I have two GREAT readers that I trust with my novels. I have met only one of them in person and the other I have not. I trust them completely with my genre. They are avid readers. When they tell me something is off, or a character hasn't developed enough for them, I listen.

Do you have any editing tips that will help us like the process a little more?

20 comments:

  1. Love the idea of changing the font! Maybe that's why it helps to reread on the Kindle!

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    1. Oh, Jessica! I love reading my novel on my Kindle. That is the first thing I do when I'm ready to upload it. It helps me with formatting too:))

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    1. Thanks, Jeanette! Anything to help with the not-so-fun part of the job;) BUT some writers really love it.

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  3. Excellent tips, as usual Tonya. I'm almost at the end of a first draft so this was perfect timing. Thanks!

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    1. Wonderful, PJ. I hope this helps. I know that every little tip helps me.

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  4. Thanks, Tonya. I'm definitely going to change my font. I used to love editing, but it's been awhile since I've done any. I've got to get busy.

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    1. There are so many parts of editing I don't love, but I do love the adding the meat to the bones with all the descriptions part:)) Changing the font messes with your eyes and helps you catch those edit issues.

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  5. As a professional editor as well as published author, the best tip I can offer is to PRINT your story out on paper, and go through it with an old-fashioned red pen. Punch holes in your manuscript with a three-hole punch and put them into a binder. Does it take longer to go back in and insert your corrections? Absolutely. Will reading a paper copy of your work help mistakes and needed corrections jump out at you that will not from a screen? Absolutely. Plus, you now have that warm fuzzy feeling of SEEING what you have accomplished, in concrete form, which might just prod you to complete a story abandoned 3/4 of the way in, so don't feel this is a step to make only if you've typed THE END. :-).

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    1. OH, Eden! That is great advice. I do print off my novel and go through it as a final edit and read it out loud. My kids think I'm crazy, but it does help so much. Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. This pointer was given to me by a scriptwriter friend; read your paragraphs backwards, out loud. This eliminates skipping words and is especially good at spotting homophone errors. Reading out loud (forwards) slowly, like fifth grader with your finger pointing to every word also helps find errors. Editing is like going to the dentist, an unpleasant but necessary part of the process. Great tips, thank you.

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    1. Edward! I've never heard of this. Does it sound like pig latin? hahaa:)) I'm definitely going to try it.

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  7. Eden excellent advice, one of the people on my editing team actually does print my book and marks it up with a red pen so I would definitely advise anyone doing that. You're right, seeing it concrete and in front of you gives you a whole different perspective. Thanks for the tips Tonya, as usual you're a gem with advice *hugs*

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  8. Enjoy the beach! Great tips:). I divide my books up to when editing--that does make it seem less daunting!

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  9. Ooo. I like the 'change the font' suggestion. Hadn't heard that one.

    Another way is to send it to your Kindle and have it read the story back to you with the voice feature. I can tell you how many errors I've caught that way! It won't let you blow past mistakes, that's for sure. ;)

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  10. Like so many others, I love the suggestion to change the font! I also use a hard copy for one of my pass-throughs, and it's amazing how much different it looks on paper than on the screen.

    Great tips Tonya, and everyone else. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  11. Love the change font idea. I always upload a copy to my kindle during the editing process to catch any errors.

    Great tips, hon. :-)

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  12. I convert it to audio for iTunes, then play the mp3 back on my iPod as I read alone on screen. While the computer audio isn't like a real person reading it back, it can't skim over words.

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  13. Some great tips here, just in time for me to do my first edit on my first mystery novel (well, after NaNoWriMo). I plan to make a first run through, then print it for hubby to run through, then do a text to talk check and finally get a couple of good friends to read it (one is a professional writer & editor, the other just a good friend). Somewhere in there I know I have to add a lot of description, get better at the showing instead of telling. Thinking that will be on the first run through. Oh, love the idea of the 3 ring binder.

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