Editing is one of my least favorite activities. As closely as I edit, errors still fall through the cracks. Sometimes these are blatant errors that take on a life of their own. One thing that I do before I edit is to decide what I wish to accomplish. Am I looking for errors in grammar? Am I looking for continuity in my writing? Am I checking each scene to make sure that it flows, that it is believable, and that my characters are retaining the qualities that make them who they are?
My first edit usually focuses on grammar, the need for rephrasing, and blatent errors in background. My next edit focuses on the characters themselves, and whether they are staying true to who they are. My next edit focuses on the storyline, how well it flows, and if I need to take things out, or move things around.
Give yourself some time between when you are done writing, and when you start editing. You want to have fresh eyes, and a fresh perspective. I prefer to edit digitally, but you do gain a better perspective if you print your work out, and edited the print copy. Just a thought!
Whether we do our own editing, or pay to have our work edited, we need to know what we are editing for, and what we hope to gain. Editing for grammar and punctuation is the first baby step into bringing our work, however long or short it is, into some semblance of order.
(c) October 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.