Monday, January 8, 2018

Editing Shenanigans

As many of you know, I was previously affiliated with a publisher that's no longer in business. I spent most of a year wallowing in my 'oh, woe is me' mode before settling down to work on republishing my books. The hunk gave me a nudge by providing funds for new covers. And once I had covers, how could I justify sitting around on my duff while the books languished on the computer, hidden away like steamy secrets. And so.

I located the most recent version of Dancer's Delight and started wading through the story, making the changes I've long wanted to implement, deleting all the 'thats' and 'justs' and other over-used words, and changing some to more appropriate words. Around half way through, the hunk proposed we take advantage of the holiday sales to replace my aging computer and he tossed in a huge new monitor as I'm also aging and need a bit of a push with the old eyesight.

When I finally was able to return to the manuscript, I had no idea where I left off. Yep. You would think I would have some notion, but I've just read it too many times, so I decided to give my eyes a rest and printed out the entire thing.

In the process, I was reminded of something I've always known, but sort of shuffled to the back of my tired brain. Editing on paper is vastly different from editing digitally. Our brains and eyes process the printed word quite differently than digital. I expect some of the bad editing we see in other's books is due to this very thing.

But there's another advantage to editing on paper--at least for me. I love using my handy-dandy red pen, slashing through unneeded words, scribbling alternate dialogue in the margins, and noting down bits of research to take care of. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and yeah, power. Power I revel in over my own work. There isn't the same fulfillment when working on the computer. And I also believe the slower business of reading and editing on paper allows me to contemplate the words I'm working with. It allows me to mentally 'hear' the dialogue and descriptions. It permits me to ponder the inner rhythm of the story.

It's going to take a while longer than I planned to finish editing this story, but already I can see it will be worth it. And after all, that's the main thing isn't it? When this book is for sale, I'll know I've presented the very best of myself.


  1. Way to go--getting it back out there. I'm wishing you a wonderful time editing, and that it all comes together faster than you anticipate.