April 30, 2015

another round of edits

It's been a productive week in the Land of Laura. I'm working on another draft of Book 3 using beta remarks and my own changes. It's a critical process that, like writing, comes with highs and lows. The good part is that I know the story is becoming better and stronger. The bad part is that it's tedious work, and I often try to procrastinate it.

Today I thought I'd share a little bit about the process I use for this stage of editing. I'm a big fan of staying organized with projects, and this style of editing reflects that.

First, I print off a hard copy of the book and break it down into sections. This novel printed to 333 pages, and is 27 chapters, so I split it into four sections of seven chapters (one has six) that are about 80-85 pages long. I work on one section at a time (storing the other three in an accordion folder) and it helps the whole project feel less daunting.

Next, I mark each chapter with a post-it note. These are basically tabs to help me keep track of the story when I go to make the changes from the hard copy on the digital draft.

I then went through and read all of the beta remarks. I marked ones that might require a little more consideration with blue, and continuity issues with hot pink (there weren't too many of those, thank goodness).

If I have any ideas for how to correct those issues, I go ahead and note them on the document at this time.

At this point I also made a list of things to look out for when I did my own read-through to address the beta remarks and any other edits that need to be made during this portion of the read-through. Most of these include over-used words, some continuity issues, etc.

This didn't take as long as it sounds (maybe an hour or two), but it has definitely been a help as I am now going through and reading and making my own edits.

This part isn't pictured, but I keep a checklist for myself on where I am at with each chapter. One check means I've made the edit on the hard copy. A second check means I have made the changes on the digital copy. And the third check will come when I've done my final read-through before sending it on to the next stage.

So that's a little glimpse at the method to my madness. How do you make edits? Do you have any special things you like to do?

And as a quick note, if you're on Facebook, I will be "taking over" the Multi-Author Chick-Lit Bash by Page Curl Publishing and Promotion from 12-12:30 p.m. CST (11-11:30 a.m. EST). There will be conversation and prizes. Hope you'll join us.

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