Anyway, here goes.
When I’m ready to edit a manuscript, I don’t. By that I mean I tuck it away to age for a few days before I start that process. I’ve found I’m more likely to pick up on mistakes and typos if I haven’t just been deeply involved in the story.
When I’m ready to come back fresh to it, I do a printout of the whole book, turn off my computer, and even go someplace besides where I usually write.
I do a complete read-through out loud and with a pencil in hand, I make a quick check mark if I see or hear a problem--any kind--but I don’t stop to fix that error yet.
Once I’ve read the story in this manner, I go back and look at all of the check-marked places and fix them. These errors are everything from double spaces, to missing words, to bad phrasing and stilted dialogue, to descriptions that aren’t right for the character or the setting. Then I do another print out and start again.
This time I don’t read aloud (the theory being that I’ve caught the bad phrasing and stilted dialogue), but I focus on the technical stuff (a broad, but essential category that includes those gremlins, like, double or missing words, comma splices, unintentional run-on sentences, and--heaven forbid--dangling modifiers).
Then I send that well-edited, well-polished manuscript to my critique group and wait. When they get back to me, I discover I’ve missed a few items and my manuscript isn’t quite as perfect as I’d imagined. More editing.
In the end, if I’m flushed with coin of the realm, I send a book to a professional editor, before I submit it for consideration.
As I’m so often reminded, “The devil’s in the details,” and I cringe when I still find an error after all of my work. However, I’ve seen some missed edits in books published by the big houses, so I know I’m not the only human being who doesn’t catch all of her mistakes.
Thank you for this chance to share your great blog space today, Diane. I loved my visit, and I hope some of what I shared will be of interest to your readers.
For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on:
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Website
The author’s other young adult books include:
Sliding On the Edge
Princess of Las Pulgas
(Plus she’s the author of a great middle grade book from Dancing Lemur Press - Some Very Messy Medieval Magic!)
NOT GUILTY is available at:
Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords
There is also a giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What is your editing like? What is your process?