Monday, January 17, 2011

In Which I Pass On Some Editing Tips

First, hop on over to my Facebook page and comment to enter to win my swag pack giveaway!

Now...on to the topic of editing!

I turned in Clarity 2 (title to come/Spring 2012) a month or two ago, after working on the line edits for a few weeks. And since then I’ve been revising my standalone (coming Fall 2012) and getting that ready for Awesome Editor to read. I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned along the way:

1. I catch more errors reading a printed out manuscript than reading on the screen.

2. Reading dialogue out loud works. Seriously. Though you might want to save this for home editing and not, say, Panera editing.

3. I needed to know exactly how many days had passed at a certain point and this sounds easier to figure out than it actually was. It required a chart.

4. Clarity 2 has a couple storylines that I consider equally important. I wanted to make sure they maintained a good balance. For example, I don’t want storyline B to be dropped for four chapters in a row while storyline A runs wild. I want both to show consistent progress. So, again, I made a chart. This time a color-coded chart.

5. I like charts.

6. I reach a point in editing when I’ve read and reread the book so many times that I want to rip the manuscript into 1,000 pieces, eat the pieces just so I can throw them up, then stomp them into dust. But that’s okay because this feeling passes and is eventually replaced with excitement when I realize that, once again…

7. I love this book.


Feel free to add more editing tips in the comments!


  1. I like the chart idea--you should post an example so I can see what you mean. (I'm a visual person.) I read my last a loud and you're right: it's so much better. I hid away in the corner of the library. lol.

    Can't wait for #2!!

  2. Point #3 is really good. A critique partner of mine once suggested using an actual calendar to outline your novel in revisions; that really helps to see it concretely like that.

  3. Danielle - I'd love to post it, but I can't because it's all spoiler all the time. ;)

    Faith - great idea about using an actual calendar!

  4. Great tips, Kim. I'm just starting revisions now, so I read this at the perfect time. Thanks!