1. Lucy E.
    Offline

    Lucy E. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    898
    Likes Received:
    4

    Editing Tip

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lucy E., Aug 24, 2008.

    I wasn't sure where to put this, so I apologise if it's in the wrong section.
    This is a little tip I came across a year or so ago whilst editing. I found - as stupid as this sounds - that changing the font before editing actually helps me spot more mistakes and awkward wording. I suppose it's the same concept as printing your work out before reading through it. I'm not sure why exactly it helps, but it does. For example, I wrote my work in Times New Roman and changed it to Courier when I printed it out. I guess it helps because it alernates from what you're used to, so you automatically read with more care.
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    With Microsoft Word, you can enable Reviewing mode, and all the changes you make will be in different colors with annotations. Then you can go through and accept changers to revert everything to normal appearance.
     
  3. Lucy E.
    Offline

    Lucy E. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    898
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ah, cool. I print my stuff out before I edit it though. And I have a crappy old version of MS Word anyway lol. :)
     
  4. SonnehLee
    Offline

    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6,112
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Far away from home
    Lucy, you rock. I've been struggling with my reviewing lately and this helped. You are now receiving a virtual hug.
     
  5. Jade
    Offline

    Jade Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    England, UK
    I experimented with this on a chapter I thought was alright and found a mistake I hadn't seen before. Nice tip :)
     
  6. Lucy E.
    Offline

    Lucy E. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    898
    Likes Received:
    4
    No problem, and you're receiving a virtual hug back. :D
     
  7. SonnehLee
    Offline

    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6,112
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Far away from home
    *smiles* yay!
     
  8. tehuti88
    Offline

    tehuti88 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    I find that I catch typos I never saw before by reading something backwards, from the last word to the first. It's very tedious and you probably wouldn't catch awkward wording or phrasing that way, but it helps with the sneaky little things.
     
  9. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Reading out loud with expression also help find those nasty phrases and repetition. Though, if you're reading to someone, the other person would be rather confused. :p
     
  10. Scarecrow28
    Offline

    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    That's Classified
    Cool idea! I'm sure it'll come in handy soon.
     
  11. tnme22
    Offline

    tnme22 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Iowa
    This is what I do a lot. A lot of the time I read too fast to pick up on mistakes, but when I read out loud I can catch things that sound funny and I can re-word things better.
     
  12. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    Another interesting "editing" tip is to use your "Page Setup" function in Word to create actual book-sized pages. For example, set margins on both sides and top/bottom to "2 inches". This creates a "page" size of 4 1/2 by 7" - very similar to paperback novels. Then, cut and paste your manuscript into this template using your favorite font set around the same size as you would get with Times New Roman at 10.

    When you read your story in this simulated paperback style, you will be amazed at the results. For example, a paragraph that might seem okay in a full sized manuscript could take up an entire page in "paperback" format. Obviously, it would be better for the reader if you break up that long paragraph into several shorter ones. Also, the flow of dialog looks very different in paperback-format that in full page manuscript format.

    This tip came from my editor on The Last Human War. In fact, she said she reformatted the entire manuscript into this paperback sized layout before she began editing. She said this gave her both the actual writing to consider as well as the final "look" and "flow" of the book in its intended print format. This method also allowed her to give me a close estimate of page count for the printed book. She said 511 (including interior title page, table of contents, blank pages and copyright page, etc.) and the actual came out to 512 pages.
     
  13. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    a novel approach... one i've never come across [or thought of]... makes some sense, i guess... bottom line is whatever works best for each writer is 'the best' way...

    hugs, m
     

Share This Page