In last week’s post I discussed reaching the halfway point in my novel and preparing to freak out all over the place in the face of everything that comes next. I asked for commentary and suggestions. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of editing until my brain leaked out of my ears, then gather my liquified brain into a turkey baster and squirt it back in so I can edit some more.
Minus the turkey baster scenario, I was already planning on this. My actual writing process actually includes quite a bit of editing in and of itself. I outline a chapter on the white board. Make changes. I write out a fleshier outline in my notebook. Make changes. I write a bare bones chapter on my netbook. Make changes. The next day I flesh it out. The day after that, what do I do? I MAKE CHANGES. I search for crappy verbs and vague descriptions, repetitive words, etc. I polish up the chapter real nice and pretty damn shiny before moving on.
So my question to you guys is this: How do you edit your manuscript? Do you do anything special? Anything unique that allows you to really get a feel for the flow of the story and any plot holes or characterization flaws? So far I’ve read about printing the manuscript out in landscape mode, in two collumns, to imitate the appearance of a paperback. I’ve also heard (twice now) of downloading text-to-talk software and listening to your manuscript. Anything else I’m missing? Weigh in below!