As you wear the editing cap, remember you're not perfect. Errors will be made, that's almost a garuantee. Even the top authors have to edit, there's no escaping it. The most important rule--take your time. Its not a race, it will get done when the story is finished. Seriously.
- Double check spelling (do not count on the program you use, many words have multiple spellings plus you may have meant to say ball when you actually said call. Little things like that sneak passed people all the time. That's why it's important to take your time!
- Double check all ending marks to make you used the correct one (. ! ? " "). And those that require 2 like quotation marks, make sure there are 2 of them.
- Make sure you use the right names through out the story. When I wrote Cursed Blood, Donna's father was named Dwainne and the a few pages later, the same man was given a different name, it snuck passed me--pay attention. Readers will be.
- Don't use too much information--let the reader use his/her imagination on some things so they will want to turn that page. But don't leave important details out. Check these things. It's easier to remove things than it is to add them.
- You are your worst critique! You will always find something else to fix. If you're just adding to the story instead of tightning it, its time to take a long break from it and let someone read it over for their opinion. Try using someone who would be a potential reader. Don't forget Beta Readers on this too (I mentioned them in the last post). You will be harder on yourself more than anyone else is.
- Learn to have tough skin. There will always be someone who doesn't like something. Don't try to please everyone. If you like it, there will be someone else who will too. Don't try to mold your book to the likings of one person. Always listen to your gut in the end. If their idea works, use it. If not, tell them thank you but you would like to keep it as is (what ever the suggestion). Be honest and always say thank you.
- The more you write, the better you will become so write. Same goes for editing. Keep a thesaurus and learn new words so you're not repeating yourself.
- Again, watch for repetition--how many "walk" do you use, in any form like walked, walking, walks. That's repitition in any form. Substitute "walk" for any words. If you can leave it out without taking away from the story, do that. If you can combine 2 sentences to avoid using that second or third word, do it. If you can replace it with another word that describes how he walked, do it. He inched toward the bed means he walked slowly without using walk at all. Inch is a good example for something like that. I never even thought of using that word until Stolen Identity was published lol. All because of the editor! I used "moved" to much and that was a way to describe how someone "moved".
- Never settle for "good enough". You're better than that. Strive to be the best you can be, in anything you do, writing or editing (or anything else in life).
Ok, that's it for editing. For more, please check out my website at http://writingforall.com
Amber Rigby Grosjean