Editing Part One
(why can I never find my own errors?)
The problem with editing your own work is the fact that you know what it is supposed to say – that’s true for doing line edits, but when it comes to the story itself – what’s clear to you, isn’t always clear with the reader.
I learned the hard way that I can’t have my family or my spouse do story review, because they have the same point of reference, or as I like to put it– they;’re in the same head space. They get things that other’s need more information to get there. There’s nothing wrong with that– but it’s hard to read a story as someone other than who you are. There are all sorts of tricks (and I’ll be going over those) for line editing, but to completely divorce yourself from the story– that takes time.
For some people it’s a matter of a few weeks, or months. For me, it usually takes years– so I have to rely on other people to tell me where I need to add more detail, draw things out, and otherwise explain the parts that are in my head.
For line edits, there are some really cool tricks you can use. Here are some of mine:
- ⊗ Change the font – a different appearance can help you see the difference
- ⊗ Print it out – Again, a different format can help trick your brain
- ⊗ Edit somewhere other than where you wrote – again, take away the familiar and everything seems new
- ⊗ Read it out loud – It’s harder to read what you think is there, and you can hear the flow
- ⊗ A variation on the above – PDF the story and have a PDF reader read it, because it will read everything that’s there.
- ⊗ Start at the end and read each sentence outside the story.