The one advice I would give any writer is DO NOT read any editing books, blogs or websites while writing a manuscript. EVER! I mean it. You will get spurts of ideas and end up re-doing the whole thing over and over again. So if you are in the middle of writing a manuscript I suggest you stop reading this right now…yeah you, go ahead, bye.
Ok now that they are gone lets get down to some seriousness. Creator of Nappaland Literary Agency, Mike Nappa have written an article on editing your manuscript four times to produce a ‘finished’ piece of work. After the jump off I will put my two cents on his editing theories.
1. The Close In Writing: write a day’s worth and the next day revise and edit the section. This will make it your first draft.
2. The Close In Edit: your entire draft is completed then you go back thru the whole manuscript front to back. This is your 2nd draft.
3. The Distance Edit: print out a hard copy (the second draft) and edit it by hand. Using your notes go back into the computer and revise as needed. This will be considered your 3rd draft.
4. The Oral Edit: read your manuscript to whomever will sit and listen; beginning to end. As you read, make notes for places to improve. Once done incorporate the notes to file. This is your 4th and final edit.
Which do you use?
I haven’t did a detailed edit on a manuscript before. Honestly I’ve only done number 2. As I’ve mentioned above I can’t edit and write at the same time. I would not get passed that chunk of writing if I edit the previous day’s work. I never thought of reading my story aloud to myself let alone someone else so number 4 would be out but I can see the purpose of it, you notice if some areas, dialogue or plot need to be changed. I’ve read somewhere that if you change the font and read your manuscript you can notice grammar mistakes.
How do you feel about Mr. Mike’s way of editing? Here’s my suggestions; after completing the first draft write a detailed list of what your goal are plotwise, character wise, etc. Seperate the list in a group and edit that way. Each time you read your manuscript look for specific things to edit. This way you do not get sidetracked you feel me? Ay, it works for me, tell me what works for you.
Peace and luv!