I find it interesting to hear other writer’s writing processes, particularly in regards to editing. I can almost hear the resounding groan from writers everywhere. There isn’t a fool proof way to edit, or a quick way for that matter… (if there is, please inform me- seriously!)
Here is a run through of how I tackle editing:
1. I leave my first draft to breathe for about 4 weeks, so I can go back to it with a fresh head.
2. I do not print out my first draft to edit in paper form. I know a lot of writers like to view their draft in paper form as it helps them to look at it in a different perspective, but just the idea of all that paper makes me palpitate. Yes, I know paper can be recycled, but paper cannot be recycled forever. Each time paper goes through the process, the fibres get shorter, the paper quality diminishes, and sometimes the paper only lasts four or five cycles at the most. I edit on the computer to save using paper in the first instant.
3. I use a colour system during the editing process. I work through each chapter using the highlighting tool in Microsoft Word. If I’m happy with a paragraph I highlight it in yellow, if I think something needs re-writing it gets highlighted in green, and if I really don’t like something I highlight it in red.
4. As I do my highlighting run through, I also keep my notebook beside me and jot down everything I need to double check, research further, or add in/ take out. This ensures the narrative runs smoothly, and any little details I miss when drafting don’t get missed during editing.
4. Once I highlight my way through the whole draft, I go back through and start to rectify the green and red highlighted sections. I also use this run through to work through the notes I have taken, and make the necessary amendments. Time consuming is an understatement. This part of the editing process takes me the most amount of time.
5. Once I am happy with my amendments, I complete another run through to make sure the changes work with the rest of the story. This part of the editing process is also my chance to check the basics- grammar, spelling, and so on.
6. After the initial editing process I read through my draft once again. I probably re-read EVO Nation about fifteen times (I’m not exaggerating). I worked my butt off for nine months, so I wanted to ensure my finished manuscript was perfect.
Please let me know your editing processes, and your tried and tested tips.