It is getting to that time of the writing process when I once again need to start changing the hat from writer to reader. That;s right, I am preparing to edit. As with many writers I know, the mere word, edit, is enough to make us cringe, suck our thumbs and crawl under the desks. Or to coin a British image, to put underpants on our head, pencils up our nose and cry Wibble. (Please enjoy the video at the end of this post.)
I have read a lot of articles on editing, and the main thing I notice is this…. they are all the same. Strip away the filling, and they all boil down to a few basic points.
– Remove the grammar errors
– Round out any plot holes
– either add or remove descriptions (depending on how flowery you were in the first draft)
– ensure correct pacing
I know, this is nothing new, but then again, when it comes to finalizing the written word, what is new?
The reason for this post is not to outline the editing process, or to give a list of do’s and dont’s. Nor, is it just a good excuse to share one of my favorite Blackadder moments. (honest… really.)
The reason for the post is to ask a question.
How do you edit? Do you go through your manuscript once for each bullet point you have listed? Do you just go through and tackle it all in one go? Do you read the whole manuscript through without so much as looking at a red pen?
Me, I tend to go through twice, once to iron out the plot holes, characters and pacing, in one go, as I find they often go hand in hand. Then I leave it to rest, only for a week or so. I then go through and check the grammar. Finally I
cheat make use of the resources that are available and have the whole things checked for grammar one more time by a professional.
I understand that there is no secret formula to editing, there is no single simple answer to this stage of the writing process, and no do I hope to stumble across one. I am simply eager to hear how others approach this stage of the game.
For some reason I cannot directly upload the video I reference above, but here is the link to it. It cracks me up every time.