Greetings from the editing cave! I’ve been in here for a while now, and I must say I’m learning a lot from my editor about the writing process and how to put a shine on the old manuscript. If you’re about to spend some time in your own cave, here are a few tips that might help you along the way…
(1) Tackle The Manuscript Chapter By Chapter – I’ve found this method works best for me as far as keeping track of character growth, timeframes, and themes that run throughout the course of the book. However, many people prefer to go through the entire manuscript first. They tend to focus on correcting the smaller mistakes, such as filter words, before delving into the bigger issues of head hopping and rewriting scenes. And that’s perfectly fine. My advice for you is to find a method that suits you and stick with it!
(2) Use A Notebook – A notebook is my best friend! I use it religiously to take notes about the chapters I’m working on, and write comments about items that I need to go back to later.
(3) Get Rid Of Distractions –When you sit down to work, close out of Facebook, Skype, and any other social media that could divert your attention away from the task at hand. I listen to music while editing, but am careful to select songs on the mellower side so I don’t suddenly find myself chair dancing!
(4) Utilize The Highlighter And Hardcopy – I need to use my hardcopy when editing. I just find it easier at times to make corrections on paper, plus it also allows me to highlight the problem areas and make notations.
(5) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Your Editor For Help – That’s what he/she is there for—to help you turn your manuscript into the best book possible! I’m extremely fortunate to have an editor who responds very quickly to my emails. Open communication with your editor is essential and will allow you to continually move forward with your manuscript, until that day when you can finally shout, “The End!” and emerge victorious from your editing cave.
Do you have some editing tips of your own? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ~ Albert Schweitzer