The Editing Game Plan

Friday, May 31, 2013

via pinterest
About a week ago I realized that though I'd talked and talked about all the editing I'm doing (I'm sure you're all quite sick of it now) I had yet to tell you the method!
You see, when I'm given DIY's, Step-By-Steps, and all that jazz, I never seem to want to stick to the instructions. Something is just so much more appealing about throwing myself into that great, wide, somewhere and trying my own thing. But of course, I steal from one method, take a bite of the other, and balance on the third because that great, wide somewhere is something of a danger without assistance.
So this is my formula. And yes, you are entirely free to steal it and use it if it suits you, or, if you're like me, you may want to borrow from it without using the entire thing. And that's fine with me, so long as you don't start marketing it. Because let's face it, this isn't entirely mine either. And if we had to get into all that technical stuff...yep, it's just easier to borrow. :)

Before you leave this place because I talk too much, I'll go ahead and give you the formula. That's what you're here for, right?

F I R S T   S T E P: Write up. Before you get into any line-edits or any of that stuff, you need to get it all written out. You've got your book, but there are usually a few holes here and there, some dialogue or some explaining you need to do. This is the time and place to do so. Fill in the cracks, block up the leaks, and make your book unsinkable. Don't worry about too much - you can always cut out parts of the book later.

S E C O N D  S T E P: Line edits! The most tedious but one of the most important branches of editing. This takes time, but it's completely necessary. I fully recommend reading your book backwards, as no typo has been known to escape such scrutiny.

T H I R D  S T E P: Clean up any dusty corners, scrub the floors, and re-tie any unwound strings. Or any loose ones. Those always get in the way. Essentially, give your book a major spring cleaning because let's face it: everyone needs a good vacuum now and then.

F O U R T H   S T E P: Read the entire document! This may seem tedious, but tried and true, it's the only surefire way to catch mistakes, inconsistencies, plot holes and grammatical errors.

F I F T H   S T E P: Whether you like getting outside beta-readers, or if you prefer to have a family member do the honors, someone (other than you) has got to read the manuscript before you submit it to a publishing house. Why? Well, sometimes us authors/authoresses get it into our heads that we are excellent, and let ourselves get away with things. Or we will be so enamoured with our plots we won't realize how ridiculous they may be. Having a clear, unbiased head can help you get a better perspective. :)

But of course this is only the beginning. Do you have anything you'd like to add?

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