Friday, July 17, 2015

Another Way to Edit?

There are a few ways to read:
·        Slow #1-trying to savor the experience
·        Slow #2-having to stop to look up words, or, worse yet, trying to figure out who’s talking
·        Out loud-preferably to a youngster
·        Fast-speed reading to get it done and out of the way

Similarly, there are different ways to edit:
·        Slow & meticulous-trying to stay alert to every possible problem
·        Reading out loud-listening to your words to hear if they flow, or not
·        Reading backwards-trying to trick your brain out of automatically “filling in the gap” instead of recognizing a mistake
·        Fast and furious-only hitting the high points that need the most attention

I’m not sure this last one is a valid tool or not. All I can say is that I happened upon it pretty much by accident and it worked for me.

I had started an editing read for my novel a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t quite muster up the momentum for an in-depth, motivated, and all out thorough editing read.

After all, what I wanted most was to add a few tidbits of color here and there by using the tips on sheriffing terminology I’d gotten from talking to Donald Harstad. I also wanted to add a couple of other small “adjustments” I’d discovered through my recreational reading. I sometimes come across a word or phrase that sounds just perfect and wish “I’d thought of that.” I use them when I remember, and I remember to make them “my own” and not simply copy verbatim.

So, I noticed that as I was picking up speed for this quick read through the heaviness lifted, it didn’t feel like a chore any more.

Another odd thing happened. I was able to pick up some long standing mistakes: like finding a “the” that should have been a “them.” That shouldn’t have happened. All I can figure is that the subconscious mind is an amazing tool. It works best when you let it loose.

In the end, I was able to pleasantly accomplish a great deal with this fast and furious approach to editing.

Did I stumble onto something new?

Probably not.

But it was all new to me.

And that’s what matters most for me and my novel.

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