Sunday, 9 August 2015

10 Things I've Learned About Editing

  1. However long you estimate it will take, add another 6 weeks.
  2. A stock of red pens is essential - scribbling on your ms in any other colour feels wrong.
  3. Even when you think you're good at avoiding repetition, some pesky words will multiply. Exterminate on sight.
  4. You'll feel a sense of joy, even triumph, when you spot how some themes/motifs/characterisation resonate throughout the ms - and you'll enjoy figuring out how to strengthen the effect.
  5. Cutting will become second-nature. Yes, it will.
  6. When rewriting a section/paragraph/sentence, ensure not to over-write.
  7. The 1st Draft is for you, the Writer; the however-many-it-takes-to-get-it-near-ish-perfect is for the Reader. Deal with it. It makes you a better writer.
  8. It's tiring. Take breaks, for screen-sore eyes will miss things.
  9. Best excuse to buy new stationery. Ever.
  10. It's fun. Really it is. And you get to do it all over again with the next book...

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