Editing is one of those tasks that most writers hate. It’s longer, and more tedious than writing is, and lacks the thrill of discovery that comes with a first draft. And yet, it’s vitally important to putting out a good novel.
I’ve written before about some of my editing processes, so today I just wanted to share a new discovery with you.
I’ve spent the last couple of days re-reading what I’ve written so far on Reckless Recon, wanting to make sure it all makes sense, and work out where I’m going from here.
But I struggled with it. I read through the first couple of chapters, and kept making a lot of small edits, changing a word here and some sentence structure there, but it just wasn’t flowing. I wasn’t getting an idea of where the story was going, and if it was working.
Since I had to go out the next day, I copied the file to my iPad, figuring I could read some while my daughter was playing with her friends at the park. I couldn’t make changes, since I don’t have an app that can edit files that large (and I find it awkward on the iPad, the keyboard is just too limited), but reading it was what I wanted to do anyway!
And what I discovered was that when I couldn’t edit, I stopped looking at all those little details, and began to see the larger story, like I wanted to.
Yes, I still ended up with about 4 pages of notes on things I wanted to change (Including a very funny typo that I shared on Facebook), but they were mostly inconsistencies and big picture changes. Only a few typos and sentence structure issues.
I think this was because I didn’t get bogged down in sentence structure and flow. I just made a note like *expand on this, needs more feeling* or *this doesn’t work because there was sun just a few pages back*, and moved on.
So if you’re having trouble sticking to a macro edit of your novel, I highly recommend reading it on a device where you can’t edit as you go. I’m going to make sure I do this for at least one edit in the future.
How about you? Do you read through your work somewhere other than on your computer during the edit process?