What editing looks like for me

Tools: Written outline, printed draft, scissors, tape, post-its, blue pen, red pen, lots of floor space.

Where we left off yesterday in the checklist:

  • Write a new beginning – done
  • Do a basic rewrite of the existing story, smoothe out prose – done
  • Fine-tune character motivations – done
  • Print draft, get out the scissors and tape, evaluate structure, fix – in progress
  • Improve beats, heighten tension
  • Groom for economy: cut, cut, cut!
  • Groom for voice. Find the section that reads exactly the way I want it to, get that voice in my head, and carry it through each paragraph.
  • Read aloud/proofread, fix anything that I stumble over
  • PROFIT. I mean…what? Submit, and cross tentacles.

I spent a little time just writing down the outline and identifying the acts and scenes. I feel pretty good about the general structure, but I’m definitely moving some things around.

I only got through half of the story tonight, but I have a narration that’s way overdue that I need to finish editing, so the second half will have to wait. That’s probably best anyway; I’d been focusing on it for two straight hours and was losing stream. Better to come back to the second half fresh tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “What editing looks like for me

  1. Thanks for the post. I think I may try your system out on the short story I’m currently working on. I have a process for novel revision, but I haven’t managed to translate that yet into something workable for the shorter pieces.

  2. Hey “Sis” (if i can still call you that?)!
    Almost the same way i write my poetry! Well apart from the cutting & taping!
    Hope life’s as good as it seems for you.
    Talk soon
    Hugs from Scotland

  3. I’ve never gotten into the cut and paste thing with editing, mainly because I’m a sparse writer, so my editing usually comes in the variety of adding in stuff, which is best done on the computer.

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