Sunday, April 4, 2010

More thoughts on my nemsis - Editing

Finally!!! My thrill of finishing the revised Chapter 20 is short lived though. I have opened up my mail and recieved comments from my friendly critique from across the pond. Not that the critiques were spot on (and surprisingly light), but they did point out a particular perspective of editing that I have neglected to include in my editing/revising process.

It had dawned on my while reading her comments. She pointed out that a few of my paragraphs were disjointed (my words not hers). As I mulled over her comments I realized that my lapse in flowing prose throughout the chapters were a result of my lack following through with what I know I need to do. Specifically I am referring to reading ALOUD my work - completely.

As we edit (okay maybe it's just me) we do so with the time we have. An hour here, 30 minutes there. No matter how much time I manage to grab it is never enough to finish a chapter. In fact I think Chapter 20 has taken me nearly two weeks to complete the revision. Meaning that it is bound to be choppy in place. I know that the fix is to read through the whole chapter in one sitting. Aloud and with a pencil in hand. But for some reason I have an adversion to reading aloud. Why this is I have no idea. I just do.

I have done this exercise in the past. I have read sections to my wife and the mistakes or the rough spots stuck out like a red suit at a funeral. I know it'll work, but I have to find the right time - and when no one is around (except for maybe my wife - if she can stand it).

So let that be a lesson to all my writer friends - after editing read what you wrote. Read it aloud and from a paper copy so that you can make quick marks as you move through the prose. Don't try to fix the problem then - just mark the spots that you have to come back to.

Now for those that do practice this method - what other tips can you provide as I near the point that I'll have to do it myself?


  1. I'm not a huge fan of reading aloud. Maybe because I'm reading it in my head, which sounds the same. Sort of. Maybe because I'm just embarrassed that someone will catch me talking to myself and think I'm crazy.
    But probably I should just do it!

  2. It's really hard when you're grabbing timeslots to catch everything. I know I don't:) I'm a fan of the reading aloud method but even I get tired of talking to myself (and I'm with Lydia on the sounding crazy thing) so I sometimes use microsoft sam. It has an annoying voice but gets the job done...and you can stick your headphones in. lol.