Friday, 28 March 2014

WriYe - The frustration of editing

Back to one of my least favourite subjects for this month's WriYe blog prompt. It's not that I can't edit - I like to think I'm pretty good at picking up on things like grammar/spelling/punctuation mistakes and continuity problems. My problem is that once I find a problem and start to fix it, I find it creates even more problems and starts turning into an ongoing saga of fixing things.

Now that we've had some planning and some character development under way, let's look at the other end of the spectrum. Editing! Sorry about the repeating but it is something we writers have to think about all the time.

What is your favorite method of editing? Do you print it all out and paint it red? Do you use a computer program like Scrivener or Liquid Story Binder to arrange things? Or maybe you just trash the first draft and try it all over again?

Depending on what the story is, usually I print it out an scribble all over it, then go back to the computer and fix the bits I picked up on, then repeat the process until I'm happy with it. I find that's a good way of dealing with particularly short stories, but with novels I have to deal with it in smaller chunks, usually a couple of chapters at a time. The
problem with that is that then I have to be really careful that my continuity is still alright, and that something I've rewritten towards the end of the process still has the same 'voice' as the bits I started with.

I know it's always better after editing, but I do find the process very tedious and frustrating!

What do you find the most in your editing? Are you a repeated-word-abuser? A comma-phile? Or maybe your grammar just ain't no good?

Because a lot of my longer stories seem to come from things like NaNoWriMo I find that they tend to have a lot of word padding going on. I gave a draft to my brother to read of one story, and one of his first comments was "so she's got curly red hair then". Apparently almost every time I'd mentioned that particular character I'd mentioned her hair...

On the subject of editing, this post by WestBow Press gives really good advice.


  1. Does your brother know my editor? LOL

    I have a rakish blond guy in one of my novellas, and she did almost the same thing! I changed his hair color twice in the edits just to mess with her. ;)