Author Topic: self-editing: what does your process look like.  (Read 650 times)

RiverRun

self-editing: what does your process look like.
« on: February 06, 2019, 04:06:54 AM »
Hi! First post here. I used to lurk occasionally on the 'other board', (I posted a little, but that was a few years ago.) This seems like a friendly place, though. On another thread, I was surprised to see how many of you are self-editing, as in, not using a professional editor before you publish.

About 5 years ago, I actually self-published two novels without any meaningful feedback from another reader. Just edited them myself and uploaded them. It was fun. I made all the usual newbie mistakes with blurbs and covers and didn't even know what genre was when I wrote them. So, not surprisingly, I did not become a bestseller. The reviews were pretty positive though. I didn't get any one stars for poor punctuation or incomprehensible prose or anything. So it appears I actually possess the skill to self-edit, to some degree. Then KU came and life got busy. I took down my third novel because I hadn't had as much time to polish it, plus could hardly give it away compared to pre-KU numbers. I determined that I would need a real editor to progress.

I decided my next book needed to be something different. So I read Chris Fox's book and landed on historical mystery as a genre to start over with. Three years later... I've finished the book and I am trying to get it into shape. But I still can't afford a professional editor. Unlike last time, however, I have read a lot of books in my genre, studied up on plot and structure, have a plan for a series, have a well-targeted cover, (I think). All that stuff. If I can find a way around the editing problem, I'm hopeful this book has a better future.

So, my actual question. If all the other stuff is in place, (cover, blurb, tropes, etc.) does the importance of line by line or developmental editing really go down? (Cause we're assuming, for the sake of argument, that I have the experience to catch most of the stupidly obvious things myself.)

And if you do self-edit your novels, do you mind sharing what you do? Beta readers, paid or free? How many? Do you do your own proofreading as well? What do you look for as signs that say, yes this is as good as I can make it?

Thank you.
 
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Solitary Dan

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 04:55:40 AM »
My first three books were professionally edited.  My editor works for a traditional publisher, so if she said it was good enough to publish, that was good enough for me.

I had intended for her to edit the fourth book as well.  But, after I finished it, it sat around for about a year while I tried to set aside money for editing.  After that year or so and no money set aside for editing, I opted to self-edit.  I also had, I think, three beta readers.  (All free.)  I don't remember.  I think only one actually finished reading the book.  She liked it better than my previous stuff.  The other never finished it.  I brought in a third beta reader as a tie-breaker, but he never finished reading it either.  So, mixed bag there.  I went ahead and published anyway.

The fifth book I planned on self-editing from the start.  I think I had three beta readers for it.  Different readers than the fourth book.  All free again.  They all finished it and they pointed out any errors they discovered.  One was quite good at catching mistakes that needed to be fixed.

I have two WIPs currently.  The first to be released will be self-edited.  I am hoping to get enough sales from it to be able to have the second one professionally edited again.

I tend to proofread as I go along and also proofread whenever I have to go back to look up something in a previous chapter.  Generally, though, it helps to set something aside for a while before you go back and proofread it or edit it.  You don't want it fresh in your mind because that's when you tend to overlook mistakes, because you'll see what you meant to write and not necessarily what you actually typed.  When the words are less fresh in your mind, you overlook those things less.  Also, it helps to read things backwards.  Like that last sentence, you'd read it starting with backwards, then things, then read and so on.  You'll catch more spelling errors that way, generally.  True, spell check catches a bunch, but it won't catch sour vs. soar and stuff like that.

Use beta readers if you can find them.  They can be very helpful.  They may find spelling or grammatical errors, which is great, but they are typically most helpful in determining whether the actual story is good and makes sense as well as what chapters or sections work or don't work and stuff like that.

The best option is to hire a professional editor, of course.  But, if you can't afford one, you can't afford one.  Sometimes, if you have extra money, you need to pay off a bill or something.  I remember when I could afford an editor, and I would be like, what do you mean you can't afford an editor?  If you want to be a professional writer, you need to find a way to set aside money to pay for a professional editor.  It's easy to say and do those things when you're in a position to do them.  Not so much when you're not.

Bottom line is that you just have to do the best you can.  And know your weaknesses.  My weakness is commas.  I never second-guessed my usage of commas.  Other things, sure, but not commas.  I always thought I knew how to use commas properly.  After having three books professionally edited, I learned that I do not.

Also, don't get old.  I never used to mix you're and your.  NEVER.  I know the difference.  How stupid do you have to be to not know the difference?  How little are you paying attention to what you're writing to not catch right away that you've used the wrong one?  Now, though, I find myself slipping up and using the wrong one.  It's very worrisome.  One could say humbling but, no, it's worrisome.  Is my brain turning to mush?  I always figured, you know, one day I might have poor eyesight, I might need a cane to walk or maybe a wheelchair, but I'll always be able to write stories, even if I have to hit one key at a time as I examine the keyboard with a magnifying glass.  But mixing up you're and your?  What next?  How long before I start typing stuff like gesul puffin zeeble bobinx laru and think it makes perfect sense at the time?

I hope this was helpful.  Probably not, but I started out this reply with good intentions.  :pdt
     
 
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Shoe

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 05:19:19 AM »


And if you do self-edit your novels, do you mind sharing what you do?


For now, I self-edit (Grammarly wanted that comma there).

As I'm writing, I begin each day reading what I wrote the day before. This continues until the "first draft" is complete. Once done, I put it aside for a few weeks or in many cases months.

During the second pass I do a lot of rewriting, correcting, etc., then put it aside for a couple more weeks.

During the third draft, I run each chapter through ProwritingAid, catch mistakes, get really annoyed with PWA's position on adverbs, then put it aside for a day or two before running the entire book through Natural's Soft (I think it's called) text-to-speech software. (I have a crush on the Brit woman's voice I selected for the read through, so I dress up for this stage.)

I then run the entire draft through PWA once more to see if corrections made during the text-to-speech stage produced any errors. This goes very quickly.

Then up it goes to KDP.
Publishing since May 2017. Writing full time since January 2018 general fiction and satire.
 
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elleoco

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 06:11:25 AM »
I use beta readers in place of what would, I suppose, be developmental editors. What I ask from them is feedback on the story and characters. I specifically tell them not to waste time on things like grammar, typos, and punctuation because revisions based on their feedback may mean wiping out or rewriting whole sections of the story.

However, beta readers are really difficult, first to find, and then to keep. Hard to find good ones who give the kind of feedback you can use and hard to keep them for more than a few books because mine quickly became fans and partisans, less inclined to fault anything. The ideal for me would be five. My belief is if one person says something you don't much agree with, you ignore them. If two say it, you consider it but don't necessarily take the advice. If three or more hit on the same thing, you need to change it. And those three don't have to all say the same thing about a character or story element. If three out of five hit on the same thing, there's something about it that needs work.

After that I do the rest of the editing myself. I'm one of those who revises as she goes, so I end up with a pretty clean first draft, which is probably more the equivalent of a third draft for those who write straight through without looking back. When revisions caused by betas are done, I put it on my Kindle and read it there, print it and read it out loud, and finally read a printed copy backward paragraph by paragraph for proofing.

munboy

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 07:13:16 AM »
I self edit to the point of almost ready to release, then I pay to have somebody line edit for me to make sure there's nothing weird going on in the words and punctuation. For some reason, I can't do this type of editing on my own work. I can line edit the crap out of other people's writing, but I miss things in my own.

As for the self editing I do, I fly through the first draft as fast as possible.

First pass - I look for any inconsistencies in characters and plot. As part of this, I add or delete spots to help with the tone and characterization and make sure the flow of the story is good. Sometimes I cut parts out or add stuff in, depending on what I want to accomplish.

Second pass - I read through, looking for places where the prose can be improved.

At this point, I send it off to my line editor.

Third pass - I read through one final time, checking what my line editor did and doing one last, quick inspection for spots I might have missed in the first and second pass.

At that point, I'm usually happy with the finished product and can start the formatting process.
 
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GeneDoucette

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 07:45:24 AM »


There are different kinds of edits.

There's a content editor, who makes structural or plot recommendations. I learned a long time ago that I don't need this. I'll adjust the plot and structure myself on a second pass, after the first draft.

There's the kind of edit where flow, and word-choice (and word repetition) is hit with a stick. I spend more time on this than on anything else in the edits. It's the "this is awkward, there must be a better way to say it" draft.

Then, there's the typographical edit, looking for errors of the most basic kind: spelling, extra words, missing quotation marks and so on. I write very clean drafts, which is to say I don't tend to make punctuation errors or spelling errors. (Or, more commonly in the age of spellcheck: the 'misspelling that results in a word that is actually a word, just the wrong one.) My largest problem is the extra word, which happens when I edit a sentence and don't delete all the words that should have been deleted to make the sentence work.

I do all of these myself. I have paid an editor to do the typographical edit, but have found that even when I do this, stuff sneaks through, which is frustrating but inevitable. I don't think it's worth paying someone to go from seven typographical errors in a 100,000 word manuscript, to two typographical errors.
 
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LD

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 11:04:14 AM »
I use alphas for the developmental edits.  I use betas for final readability.  I write using correct SPoG, or at least try to, so it's not a big mess and I only need to tighten wording choice by the end.  For proofing, I use different formats to read the manuscripts.
 
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Kyra Halland

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 12:27:13 PM »
I self-edit too; lack of money for editors plus my work schedule is so erratic due to chronic fatigue syndrome I can't imagine trying to stay on schedule with someone else.

Once the first draft is written, I print it out and read through, making notes of problems I find (I number the notes in a notebook and put the page #, then on the manuscript page I put the note #). I go all the way through the manuscript doing this before starting to mark up the manuscript, so if I find things later that changes something earlier in the book, I just make a note of it instead of having to go back and change something I already revised once. At the same time, I make a notecard for each scene, with a sentence describing what happens in the scene along the the scene's purpose, main conflict, and change. This helps me spot a lot of structural problems. I've also started filling out a Story Grid spreadsheet at this stage, which also helps me spot structural problems.

ETA: Forgot this part:

After I have all my notes and everything and decide if I need to add/move/delete scenes and what other major changes I need to make, I make a new set of scene cards with the major changes I want to make for each scene, using 4x6 inch cards for this, or even type it out with one page per scene, depending on how many changes the book needs. This helps me keep track of the big picture for the revision.

Once I've done all this analysis, I do a huge revision, then send it out to the beta readers. Then I do a second revision using their feedback and any other issues I've thought of in the meantime. After that, I do a pass or two to fine-tune action and dialogue, deepen characterization, fill in details of setting, stuff like that. Then a pass of line editing and one of copy-editing, then a couple of proofreads. I print out each draft, and in the later stages, I print using different fonts. I also do one of the proofreads by reading on my Kindle.

It takes a while, especially at the speed I'm able to work, but it's the option that's open to me and I actually enjoy it more than writing the first draft (I like editing my own work, but hate editing other people's work). I've had very few reviews that mention any kind of editing issues; I've had at least as many that compliment the editing. So it seems to work.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 03:57:11 PM by Kyra Halland »


Tales of fantasy, heroism, and romance.
Kyra Halland | Website | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Goodreads

Genres: Epic Romantic Fantasy; Western Fantasy
 
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RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 02:34:17 PM »
Thank you all for your replies. Its helpful to have some different options to consider.

I use alphas for the developmental edits.  I use betas for final readability.  I write using correct SPoG, or at least try to, so it's not a big mess and I only need to tighten wording choice by the end.  For proofing, I use different formats to read the manuscripts.

Out of curiosity, what is SPoG? A google search turned up salt/pepper/onion/garlic but I'm thinking that's not what you meant.
 
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RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 02:44:12 PM »
I self-edit too; lack of money for editors plus my work schedule is so erratic due to chronic fatigue syndrome I can't imagine trying to stay on schedule with someone else.

 I've also started filling out a Story Grid spreadsheet at this stage, which also helps me spot structural problems.



Kyra, I admire your work ethic to write so many novels in spite of poor health.

I'm curious about Story Grid. There's a book about that, isn't there? I'm going to go look it up, but I'm curious about how it all works out in practice.

I'm a compulsive re-writer and constantly edit as I go. So I never really know what draft I'm on.

Right now I'm leaning towards at least one paid beta reader, since none of my friends or family seem to be willing or able to provide meaningful feedback.
 
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L_Loryn

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 03:27:33 PM »
And if you do self-edit your novels, do you mind sharing what you do? Beta readers, paid or free? How many? Do you do your own proofreading as well? What do you look for as signs that say, yes this is as good as I can make it?


I self-edit, then I have a close friend/editor read through and do a line edit (more or less because she likes to), and then I have beta readers. I think beta readers are supposed to come before the editor, but that seems weird to me so I don't do it that way.

My process is:
  • Write the book as fast as I can. Like, cranking out 3-4k a day on the weekdays 1-2k a day on the weekends until the book is finished.
  • Let the book rest for 3-4 weeks. Usually during this time, I'll write some short stories or take a break from writing altogether. Depends on if I'm writing a standalone or series.
  • Read through my novel. I do line edits, suggestions, beefing up descriptions, proofreading. All of it. The main reason I do this is because I am trying to get better with my descriptive language. In my writing process, I may use the same eight descriptions as place-holders for other actions. When I do my self-edit, I change these things, check for the repetition, think of new and better descriptions. I use an app called Markup on my ipad with an apple pencil. Then I go back and enter the changes in my document later. So it's kind of like a double edit.
  • My editor/writer friend takes a stab at it. She likes to line edit, so that's what she does. She'll point out any and everything from wonky sentences, to dropped plot points, to timeline problems. She's also crazy good at finding typos.
  • Last are the beta readers. I won't give them my manuscript any sooner because I'm a perfectionist. It would bother me too much to have not gone over it first.

How do I know it is as good as I can make it? I know the bare bones are good if I start reading and there are pages without any mistakes. This means I'm too invested in reading to find the mistakes (this is why I have an editor).

When I finish my self-edit, I know at that point it is as good as I can make it at my current capacity. I know that given another month rest, I'm sure I could make it better, but at some point you're going from 85% to 88% and it's not necessarily worth the extra time to do it (that's just an example).

Unrelated, but part of my self-edit is playing a game with myself after I finish writing. Once I'm in my rest period, I start logging my favorite "words of the day", and I mull over ways to use them in my novel. It's probably super unnecessary, but it makes me excited about improving my novel and my vocabulary by extension. I don't know how others are, but while I have a pretty extensive vocabulary, it doesn't always show in my "first draft".
 
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Kyra Halland

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 03:46:09 PM »
I self-edit too; lack of money for editors plus my work schedule is so erratic due to chronic fatigue syndrome I can't imagine trying to stay on schedule with someone else.

 I've also started filling out a Story Grid spreadsheet at this stage, which also helps me spot structural problems.



Kyra, I admire your work ethic to write so many novels in spite of poor health.

I'm curious about Story Grid. There's a book about that, isn't there? I'm going to go look it up, but I'm curious about how it all works out in practice.

I'm a compulsive re-writer and constantly edit as I go. So I never really know what draft I'm on.

Right now I'm leaning towards at least one paid beta reader, since none of my friends or family seem to be willing or able to provide meaningful feedback.

I write the books I want to read, so it's fun, even though it's hard.  Grin

Here's the link to the Story Grid site: https://storygrid.com/

Pretty much everything that's in the book is also available for free on the site, but I recommend getting the book if you decide you really want to try it, for ease of reference. The method meshes well with my analysis phase of revision, since I'm sorting out my scenes and making all those notes anyway. The spreadsheet and grid are excellent for finding structural problems in a book, and the "foolscap" outline also a good basic method for outlining a book.

I also have a hard time getting beta readers who give meaningful, helpful feedback. I always end up finding more stuff that needs fixed myself than my beta readers do. I'd love to use a paid beta reader if I can save up the money; I write in a niche genre and I've had trouble finding my audience, so right now I'm just managing to cover my expenses.


Tales of fantasy, heroism, and romance.
Kyra Halland | Website | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Goodreads

Genres: Epic Romantic Fantasy; Western Fantasy
 
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VanessaC

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 07:36:45 PM »
Fascinating to see other people's processes.  Like others, at the moment I don't have funds for an editor, though definitely would like to in future.

For my first books I used paid beta readers, and that was incredibly helpful - would highly recommend.  Also had a dialogue edit, which was much more affordable than a full copy edit, and really helpful for me as dialogue punctuation was definitely a weak spot for me.

My "process" is evolving as I go, but this is what I'm working with just now (for book 5).

For me, "editing" happens all the way through - I plot / outline to start with, but inevitably realise about 1/3 of the way into the story that the beginning needs to be re-ordered or re-written, and I do that then before I move on, because it's easier.  I make notes as I go - I have a physical notebook next to my laptop, and also use the document notes in Scrivener.  If I come across major issues when doing the first draft, I will also fix them here, rather than waiting.

The next stage is going through the notes I've made, and then the notes I make on the notes ...

Once this is done, I'm finding that my draft is in pretty good shape.  I might do a final pass (if there are more notes or something isn't working), but then it's a read through (side-load onto my kindle). I find it's really helpful to read the draft in a different format.  I use the notes / highlight function on the kindle to flag up issues.

Then tidy up after the read through. (This is the stage I'm at just now with book 5, and this involves text adjustment, adding in at least two more scenes, adding more action and depth to the ending, and making sure loose ends are tidied up.)

Final stages: I prefer (if I have time) to read the whole thing aloud - this lets me catch awkward sentences, poor choice of phrasing, the fact I've used the same word seven times in one paragraph ... The read aloud is very time consuming, but helpful. 

Last thing is run through with Grammarly to catch any spelling errors, duplicate words, repetition, etc, that I may have missed and making some formatting adjustments (e.g. I always use two blank spaces after a full stop when I'm typing, and do a find and replace to take these out before formatting.)

I hope some of this is helpful.
 

Genre: Fantasy
 
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The Bass Bagwhan

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 10:02:21 PM »
I'm a writer and a professional freelance editor - and I really get that many writers can't afford editing. We can be expensive buggers.

A problem for self-editing is that a lot of writers don't know what problems they're actually looking for - if you don't know what a "misplaced modifier" is, or when a comma is placed before a conjunctive and an independant clause, it's worth spending some time to understand them, because these can be the basics of voice, cadence, rhythm and style that let your writing flow off the page so that the text disappears and you're left with only the story. And the important "rules" are actually pretty simple when the penny drops, before you get too deep into Grammar Hell. One solution is to pay for a partial Line Edit, making it clear to the editor you're looking for a learning curve applied to your writing - sneakily getting a "sample edit" is annoying.

And I second - with beer and chocolate - Vanessa's advice of side-loading into a Kindle. Reading your MS on an entirely different device breaks that over-familiarity that plagues a lot of self-editing.

If you don't have a second device, physically print the MS in "galley-proof" form. That's two columns on an A4 page in LANDSCAPE mode. It mimics two "paperback" pages side-by-side per sheet - an old trad-publishing process. Works a treat for forcing your eyes to read, instead of your brain remembering...

Good luck!
 
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RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 11:37:38 PM »


Here's the link to the Story Grid site: https://storygrid.com/

Pretty much everything that's in the book is also available for free on the site, but I recommend getting the book if you decide you really want to try it, for ease of reference. The method meshes well with my analysis phase of revision, since I'm sorting out my scenes and making all those notes anyway. The spreadsheet and grid are excellent for finding structural problems in a book, and the "foolscap" outline also a good basic method for outlining a book.

I also have a hard time getting beta readers who give meaningful, helpful feedback. I always end up finding more stuff that needs fixed myself than my beta readers do. I'd love to use a paid beta reader if I can save up the money; I write in a niche genre and I've had trouble finding my audience, so right now I'm just managing to cover my expenses.


There's a lot of good information on this site - thank you for recommending it. I figured out that plot is one of my weaknesses and have read a few different books/websites on the topic while working on this book. (Libbie Hawker, James Scott Bell, K. M Weiland, James Frey) They all cover a lot of the same ground, but I get fresh insights every time I read someone else's perspective. The Foolscap grid has already proved helpful.

It made me laugh though, because just a few weeks ago I was talking to my husband about Silence of the Lambs. I've never read the book and have never watched the movie and don't intend to. But all these plotting books refer to it. I told him either they assume everybody has watched the movie or it must be the most flawlessly plotted story ever. And sure enough...there it is again. Fortunately he uses Pride and Prejudice as well, the other flawlessly plotted novel:)
 
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RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2019, 11:52:17 PM »
I'm a writer and a professional freelance editor - and I really get that many writers can't afford editing. We can be expensive buggers.

A problem for self-editing is that a lot of writers don't know what problems they're actually looking for - if you don't know what a "misplaced modifier" is, or when a comma is placed before a conjunctive and an independant clause, it's worth spending some time to understand them, because these can be the basics of voice, cadence, rhythm and style that let your writing flow off the page so that the text disappears and you're left with only the story. And the important "rules" are actually pretty simple when the penny drops, before you get too deep into Grammar Hell. One solution is to pay for a partial Line Edit, making it clear to the editor you're looking for a learning curve applied to your writing - sneakily getting a "sample edit" is annoying.



Good luck!

I haven't heard of a partial line edit. Does that mean having an editor look at just a few chapters rather than the whole book?

I looked up conjunctive and independent clauses, and I'm sure I've used them wrong before, (although probably not in fiction much), so I see your point! I'm a homeschooling Mom and I am learning grammar along with my kids. (Teaching grammar was definitely out of fashion when I was in school.) But I will be reading up on this.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 12:03:41 AM by RiverRun »
 
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munboy

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 12:57:18 AM »

Here's the link to the Story Grid site: https://storygrid.com/


I tell you what, if they're any good, they're stupid cheap for full service editing. $997 for 80,000 words? That's not bad at all. I'm ashamed to say I paid a lot more than that for editing on my first book and wasn't happy with the results at all. That's why I stopped using an editor except for the final line edits.
 
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VanessaC

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 01:50:49 AM »

And I second - with beer and chocolate - Vanessa's advice of side-loading into a Kindle. Reading your MS on an entirely different device breaks that over-familiarity that plagues a lot of self-editing.


If you'd said red wine and chocolate, I'd think you'd been spying on me ... Or, during daylight hours, tea and biscuits.  Who said editing can't be fun?  :icon_mrgreen:
 

Genre: Fantasy
 
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The Bass Bagwhan

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 06:05:55 AM »
Quote

I haven't heard of a partial line edit. Does that mean having an editor look at just a few chapters rather than the whole book?


Perhaps I'm assuming that all editors work like I do, but I use Word's "Track Changes" function (most do) which allows you see every edit and Accept it or Reject it. Beyond the more straightforward edits of typos, spelling and simple punctuation,  I'll insert a Comment explaining what the error is and why I'm fixing it. I also provide a letter that explains the "serious" issues (like bad habits or perhaps continuity problems) more in-depth. Some of my clients use my editing as a learning curve, but others are high-output authors and just want me to fix everything - I'm a part of their workflow.
So yes, you could commission an editor to edit, say, 10K-20K words of your book and use that editing as a template for the rest - I can't imagine why anyone would refuse. Some potential issues - with continuity, for example - wouldn't be possible, because the editor isn't working on the entire MS, but things like punctuation, grammar and common sentence structure can be addressed. Mind you, some writers still won't grasp what you're doing ... it's just not part of their skill-set. You'd be budgeting around US$130-$140 per 10,000 words.


Here's the link to the Story Grid site: https://storygrid.com/


I tell you what, if they're any good, they're stupid cheap for full service editing. $997 for 80,000 words? That's not bad at all. I'm ashamed to say I paid a lot more than that for editing on my first book and wasn't happy with the results at all. That's why I stopped using an editor except for the final line edits.

That's about in the ballpark for our copy-editing services. Check out www.polgarusstudio.com  Substantive/Line editing (the full schemozzle) is a little more. It's scary that you paid "a lot more" and weren't happy.
 
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DrewMcGunn

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 03:47:20 AM »
I self-edit as much as I can before posting a chapter on a closed forum, where super fans of the genre give me feedback. I like this process because it helps me fix continuity issues and other developmental issues, while giving me access to a fairly extensive beta reader group.

But after the book has been completed and all of the changes that the reader group has recommended have been considered, I'll do one more self-edit pass before sending it off to an editor for line edits. He catches most of my typos that I missed and fixes questionable punctuation, too.

After that, I'll give it one last pass before formatting the book and publishing it. Not saying my books are completely error free, but I get a few reviews on the books being well edited for an indie author.

Drew McGunn
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 04:29:36 AM »
These are all good suggestions for self-editing.

Good beta readers are great if you can find them, but keep in mind that the functions of a beta reader and an editor are different. Beta readers are more about general impression. Editors are more about the detail work.

Obviously, no one should try to pay for a professional editor who can't afford to--and that's a lot of self-published writers just starting out. it is worth noting, however, that it's good practice when you can afford one.

The Bass Bagwhan is right that there are ways to keep your brain from auto-correcting, but none of them are foolproof. My first book started out as a typographical disaster even though I had over thirty years experience as an English teacher. I knew the principles of style and grammar, and I had spent thousands of hours working on student essays in a process very much like what an editor would use. I also went through the manuscript several times. Even so, there were a lot of obvious errors left. I hired an editor later and got the book all fixed up, but I doubtless lost some readers early on because of the relatively poor condition of that first release.

These days I self-edit shorter pieces, mostly because I can read through a short story or even a novella far more times than I could a full-length novel, and also because I discovered Grammarly, which is good at weeding out errors the brain auto-corrects so that I don't see them. I also became a better editor by working with editors.  The process can be educational. For longer works, I still use an editor, and even when I don't agree with some of the content recommendations, I am sometimes inspired to find a better way than what I had done originally and than what the editor recommended. Every single book I've used an editor for has benefited from the additional perspective.

All of that said, part of using an editor is realizing that the editor is not always right. I've had a few experiences in which two editors looked at the same piece, and their recommendations were quite different, sometimes even contradictory. I'm certainly not infallible, but editors aren't infallible either. I mention this because I know some people don't like to use editors because they don't always agree with them. In self-publishing, though, we can disregard editorial advice if we don't agree with it, so it's all good. As I said above, sometimes the book has benefited as much from advice I didn't agree with as from advice I did. Getting a different perspective can stimulate additional thought.


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Vijaya

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 05:01:21 AM »
Good thread. It takes anywhere from 1-5 drafts to get something ship-shape. My process is first to edit for structure, then characters, then the pacing, and finally for language. Then it goes to betas or editors depending on what I think it needs.

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
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RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2019, 07:42:50 AM »
I was kind of hoping that there was a magical number of beta readers that was 'enough'. But it occurs to me now how silly that is, seeing as how every writer and their process is different.

I wish I could have both developmental and line editing, but I think I can do a decent job of line editing on my own. This is my first mystery, so I'm hoping to get some feedback from somewhere on the overall story. Line editing would make it a better book, but good enough may be the best I can do for now. At least I've got a handle now on misplaced modifiers and dialogue tags. (I was shaky on this in my first book.) I even figured out what elegant variation is the other day. Fortunately I already watched for that without knowing it had a name. I'll need to go look up the proper use of Em dashes again, since I always forget the rule. And try to root out some of the excess commas.

I'm thinking of trying Quiethouse beta readers, once I've got all my pennies together.

But after the book has been completed and all of the changes that the reader group has recommended have been considered, I'll do one more self-edit pass before sending it off to an editor for line edits. He catches most of my typos that I missed and fixes questionable punctuation, too.


I thought copyediting was only typos and grammar and whatnot. The terms are confusing. That's terrific that you have a closed forum to work with.

These are all good suggestions for self-editing.

Good beta readers are great if you can find them, but keep in mind that the functions of a beta reader and an editor are different. Beta readers are more about general impression. Editors are more about the detail work.

Obviously, no one should try to pay for a professional editor who can't afford to--and that's a lot of self-published writers just starting out. it is worth noting, however, that it's good practice when you can afford one.


I agree that the book would be better with editorial help. I'm hoping a beta reader will work as a compromise.

Considering how many times I typically revise a scene, I think I do as much or more self-editing as people are talking about here. I'm starting to feel better:)
 
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LD

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2019, 09:23:32 AM »
Thank you all for your replies. Its helpful to have some different options to consider.

I use alphas for the developmental edits.  I use betas for final readability.  I write using correct SPoG, or at least try to, so it's not a big mess and I only need to tighten wording choice by the end.  For proofing, I use different formats to read the manuscripts.

Out of curiosity, what is SPoG? A google search turned up salt/pepper/onion/garlic but I'm thinking that's not what you meant.
Haha!  Sorry about that.  It's spelling, punctuation, or grammar.  Or maybe I got it wrong and it's supposed to be SPaG? 
 
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Denise

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2019, 10:40:25 AM »
It's really nice to read different self-editing methods.

I write, revise once, then send it to beta readers for plot, characterization, big picture things.

This is important. In my recent novel, there were some two chapters that I thought should be removed, and I wanted to chop a lot of the text to improve pacing, but I sent the entire manuscript to beta readers before starting the chainsaw massacre. My beta readers had no problem with the chapters that I had considered slow or unnecessary, so I decided to keep them.

After that, there's some more line editing, copyediting, and at this point, I'll send it for someone else to look at it. It can be a second pass with a strong beta reader.

I was using Pro Writing Aid to find errors my eyes miss, but recently I started using Grammarly and I prefer it much more. It's very helpful, even if it has some false positives and if it doesn't catch everything.
 
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Rick Partlow

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2019, 10:53:19 PM »
I finish writing then I have a text reader app on my phone read the manuscript to me while I also read it visually.  I catch 99% of errors that way, after a couple years and 10-12 books of experience.  Then off to beta readers and then publish.
Author of Glory Boy, Last Flight of the Acheron, the Birthright trilogy, the Recon series, The Tales of the Acheron series, the Psi War trilogy and the Duty Honor Planet trilogy.
 
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spin52

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2019, 11:59:32 PM »
I start every day's writing by reading what I wrote the day before and making any changes needed. I self-edit as I go, so I have a pretty clean first draft when I'm done.
I run it through the Word spell-checker to catch obvious mistakes, repeated words -- things like that. Then I read the whole thing through in one go, if my eyeballs hold out. A day or so later, when I've recovered, I read it through again. Then I send it off to my beta reader, an old and brutally honest friend who reads a lot in my genre. When she returns it with comments, we discuss what changes might be needed. I make them and read it all through one more time.
That's it. I have a background in editing, so I feel confident in doing it myself.


Traditional mysteries with a dash of humor -- no cats, no cupcakes.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2019, 12:25:57 AM »
I send my fairly messy first draft to paid beta readers for characterization, flow, and plot. After that I make some changes and tighten up sloppy word use. Then I send the ms. to the cheapest proofreader I can find. Then I check it once more and remove half or more of the proofreader's "corrections." Then I send the ms. to the formatter. When it comes back, I might find one or two random typos while checking the formatted mobi, usually inconsistent styling of a word ("leaped" and "leapt" are both correct but I should pick one and stick to it) or an apostrophe or comma in the wrong place. After that, I release the book. No one has ever claimed my books have typos or bad grammar.

That method works for me because I've been a paid professional proofreader and copyeditor for decades. Things will get by me, but I can't afford to hire editors who are better than I am. My efforts to find them have introduced me to numerous people who aren't very good at editing despite their claims. A really good copyeditor can cost you many, many hundreds of dollars and will be worth it if your grasp of grammar is horrible. A so-so copyeditor will be worth it if your mastery of grammar is so-so. At least one pass on most people's mss. should be by a stranger. The big danger with complete self-editing is getting chapters mixed up in your file or having paragraphs missing, but most people who self-edit are way beyond that kind of error. The danger in hiring so-so professionals is that some will introduce errors where you had none.
 
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fleurina

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Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2019, 04:11:39 AM »
I edit at the end of each session also running it through ProwritingAid (paid) and Grammarly (paid option expired last week and have not renewed)  - I don't accept all their suggestions. Once finished I read it over and over and over (groan) until I see no more than two or three errors and then send it to two beta readers.
While the book is with the readers I don't touch it - I either have a complete writing break or start on the next one.
When the Beta reports arrive I alter as needed then re-read.
I'm about to release the first book in a new series and my first Beta report arrived this morning - I'd used a wrong name, missed out two words and had omitted a space.  For my first book, the list was way longer (and maybe needs a revision - I was rather comma-happy).
Happy weekend to all!

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Wonder

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2019, 05:48:29 AM »
I hired a professional editor for my first two novels, and it was the right thing to do, because I was not yet competent, and I needed a lot of guidance. My editor did both developmental and line edits, and I was happy with her work. (I lost money those years, but I learned a lot.)

For my next two novels, I put my limited funds towards professional cover art, a website, and a little bit of marketing. (I lost money that year too as I pre-purchased some series covers, but my sales began to climb.)

If I was pulling in a lot of money, I'd probably work with an editor every time because doing so speeds the writing process up. My current system of using a couple friends as beta readers and spending a zillion hours on proofreading is SLOW, but it's what I can afford right now. My work is competent, so it's better to spend my limited funds on covers and marketing.

I've got a good shot at earning money this year. My revenue may exceed my expenses, and I'm focused on getting more books out so I have more to sell.

For self-editing I draft and re-write in a kind of looping motion. I write a new chapter, go back and edit a few chapters before it, write a new chapter, and so on. My manuscript gets a lot of passes, but that's what I need right now. For line edits I start with ProWritingAid, then a pen-and-paper review, and then I send it to a friend with sharp eyes.

 grint

Wonder
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ragdoll

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2019, 01:42:23 AM »
I am the only person who touches my self-published books before they go out into the world. No beta, no editor. In terms of attaching quantifiable metrics, I have had several consecutive years of six-figure net revenue. It is very rare any review negatively addresses my writing mechanics. And from the small number that have, some appear to have been download issues back when whispersync was more common or when downloading using cellular service such that sentences repeat or disappear.

But not everyone can rely on their own skills to edit. My education level is post-doctorate and includes scholarly writing classes, thesis requirements, seminar papers, etc. And my work history includes more than a dozen years writing as a subject matter expert for material read by senior executives at top companies. If I wasn't writing and editing myself, I was editing other subject matter experts. Naturally, there was a short period in my work history during which I was extensively supervised before my writing reached our target audience. As a fiction writer before kdp launched (as dtp), I was published by several presses and went through the editing process with them. My editors (fiction and nonfiction) always had a light touch.

With that said, I've read self-published books riddled with errors. Some of these authors paid to have them edited. Some of the authors used beta readers. Whether you use an editor or not, you need to know the mechanics. And you need to know that you know the mechanics, not just think that you do. Between academics and highly professional work environments, I was assured over several decades that I did.

The craft of telling a good story, of course, is separate from the above discussion. I've read shorts with terrible mechanics but compelling stories.

Finally :D I ran this reply through Grammarly. That's one step that I've added for the last 5 or so title releases (of the 60 or so releases I have). I use the free version and input chapter by chapter after I think the manuscript is final. Mostly it slaps my hand for lapses in the Oxford comma and failure to hyphenate. The paid version would tell me I am sometimes too wordy. And a lot of the "mistakes" the free version (and presumably the paid version) find are not mistakes or they are located in dialogue where the character is marked by clipped speech. Still, the program has caught a few things that were glaringly wrong and would have jarred the reader.
 
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Denise

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2019, 03:42:13 AM »

If I was pulling in a lot of money, I'd probably work with an editor every time because doing so speeds the writing process up. My current system of using a couple friends as beta readers and spending a zillion hours on proofreading is SLOW, but it's what I can afford right now. My work is competent, so it's better to spend my limited funds on covers and marketing.



Same thing here.

Self-editing for grammar and style is tedious, boring, annoying, time-consuming, irritating… I'm sure a good editor is worth their prices. That said, if the editor is not competent enough, it might be wasted money. The tricky thing is that an author who doesn't know grammar might not know the difference.

I am the only person who touches my self-published books before they go out into the world. No beta, no editor. In terms of attaching quantifiable metrics, I have had several consecutive years of six-figure net revenue. 

Wouldn't it be easier to have an editor? Or is your writing so clean that you find that copyediting is fast? I'm just thinking that time is also valuable, and if you're making money from your writing, you'd better spend time writing more or doing something fun.
 
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ragdoll

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2019, 05:10:59 AM »
I am the only person who touches my self-published books before they go out into the world. No beta, no editor. In terms of attaching quantifiable metrics, I have had several consecutive years of six-figure net revenue. 

Wouldn't it be easier to have an editor? Or is your writing so clean that you find that copyediting is fast? I'm just thinking that time is also valuable, and if you're making money from your writing, you'd better spend time writing more or doing something fun.

I would argue that the time value of writing isn't quantifiable, at least not in my case. I have one work that made me over $2 per word. And great strips of the story were in wonderful, clean writing flashes of up to 2500 words an hour. It made over $100k without any paid advertising and without networking it. But my writing time is not worth $5000 an hour. (At least not yet  :icon_rofl: ) Recent efforts would suggest it's more around $30 an hour without putting any marketing efforts in beyond a small newsletter and a post on my timeline. Of course, at any time, those most recent efforts could jump in their per word rate of return. That is exactly what happened with my biggest seller. It was 4 months after its release that it shot up.

My market value as a technical editor when I left my job was $75+ an hour within my field of expertise. That, to me, is quantifiable, although I would agree that my market rate will have gone down to the same per hour value as my current writing rate.

So, we have $30 an hour to write, $30 an hour to edit, less time spent editing (about 5000 words an hour) than writing AND more depth and polish added in editing. Usually, not a lot of post-writing polish is needed. But I do find the depth in that last edit is like small dabs of crazy clue. I only add about 5% net volume to the story in edits. But that 5% is what holds it together. So, what are my words worth in an intangible sense that leads to very tangible monetary results when I do my own editing?

Working with an editor costs me both time and money. I don't know what a truly good editor costs. First page search results suggest I should just switch from writing to editing! But, let's agree that the lightest of copyediting is available at .01 per word. A 45000 word manuscript would be $450 to edit. That's 15 hours of my writing time wages, but would only take 9 hours of my own editing time. So I start out paying $180 more to have someone else do it than it would cost me to do it myself. Then how much time do I spend sending the manuscript to the editor, answering the editor's questions, reviewing their edits, addressing their suggested revisions, and taking action on some of their suggested revisions? I feel like that it is enough time to put me more in the hole money-wise.

Then there is the impact on my schedule. When can I release? How does it affect other schedule items? I hear the counterargument -- I still have at least some of those six hours (15 editor - 9 self edit) saved. I could have been writing! But would I have been writing? Nah, I would probably be here posting in an attempt to avoid writing. :D

And who says editing isn't fun!
 
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Rosie Scott

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2019, 10:55:51 AM »
I self-edit. For context, I've been writing full-length novels since the age of six and have self-edited and learned as I go. While I've never worked as an editor of other literature, I've edited in other professional respects (for real estate and legal contracts and as a QA for transcription work). This critical eye helps me catch a lot of errors.

I usually pass over a book about twenty times before its release using various methods. First, I write the book. Each time I open the document I read through at least the last chapter (3,000 to 8,000 words depending on the novel). Usually I read more than that, either to prepare me to continue or simply because I love what I write. This not only catches a lot of typos, it allows me to take sentences I wrote quickly and reword them to sound crisper now that the scene is finished. By the time a book is complete, I've read through it at least a dozen times. Then I put the book through ProWritingAid one chapter at a time. I switched from Grammarly since ProWritingAid is more helpful and I could buy it outright. By this point, most errors are caught, but the program helps to look at wording in a new light or point out things that self-editing usually doesn't catch (inconsistent capitalization, for example). I cannot express how helpful ProWritingAid is. Even if your book is well-written and grammatically sound, it helps to spice things up by tightening your prose or suggesting more colorful wording.

After ProWritingAid, I go through the entire book and self-edit again to ensure the program didn't leave any loose ends. For example, if a word is italicized in the document and it's put through the program and reworded, only part of the word will be italicized. Going through again helps to iron out these clunky aspects of using automation. Then, I go through the entire book again with text-to-speech. This not only catches a few errors that both me and the program missed, but it also forces me to slow down and go at a snail's pace while reading. I catch a lot of formatting errors this way because I'm looking for things to do with all this time (extra spaces after the tab of a new paragraph is one example). It also sometimes catches odd wording.

After that, I go through the entire book again. Making sure rewording sentences hasn't messed up the flow or unraveled something else. Finally, I read the book one last time for pleasure before putting it up for pre-order. I read it again in the week before its release, then once more afterward to experience it at the same time as my readers.

Only two other people read the book before its release. My husband reads it five chapters at a time as I write it and answers a series of questions I have for him (is this character's intention clear? Did this action scene live up to your expectations? If not, why?). My best friend also reads it and supplies feedback. He has worked as a professional critic (not for books, but he is ruthless nonetheless), so he'll ask questions about things he found confusing or unclear. I find I change little after his comments, however. Most are critical and opinion-based (how he would have written it differently), and while that sometimes makes me look at things in a new light and add more explanations or details, I write the way I do for a reason. So this kind of feedback is helpful to embellish the story, but it ultimately doesn't change its course.

Thankfully, I love my books so I reread them regularly. Every once in a while I catch an error that slipped through. I just finished rereading my latest series and found four errors (out of one million words, so not too bad) that I'll fix and re-upload. None of these are glaring (one example was writing "beside table" rather than "bedside table" so most readers likely won't even notice). Over the years I'll continue doing this as applicable. I know I have a quality product out there, but I'm a nitpicking perfectionist. So yes, I self-edit, but the process is never truly over.  grint

Dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy. Writer of bloody warfare & witty banter. Provoker of questions.
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Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2019, 05:17:45 AM »


There are different kinds of edits.

There's a content editor, who makes structural or plot recommendations. I learned a long time ago that I don't need this. I'll adjust the plot and structure myself on a second pass, after the first draft.

There's the kind of edit where flow, and word-choice (and word repetition) is hit with a stick. I spend more time on this than on anything else in the edits. It's the "this is awkward, there must be a better way to say it" draft.

Then, there's the typographical edit, looking for errors of the most basic kind: spelling, extra words, missing quotation marks and so on. I write very clean drafts, which is to say I don't tend to make punctuation errors or spelling errors. (Or, more commonly in the age of spellcheck: the 'misspelling that results in a word that is actually a word, just the wrong one.) My largest problem is the extra word, which happens when I edit a sentence and don't delete all the words that should have been deleted to make the sentence work.

I do all of these myself. I have paid an editor to do the typographical edit, but have found that even when I do this, stuff sneaks through, which is frustrating but inevitable. I don't think it's worth paying someone to go from seven typographical errors in a 100,000 word manuscript, to two typographical errors.

This describes me pretty well which is why I can't justify paying an editor.
 

Guerin

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2019, 12:06:39 AM »
Try using the "Read Aloud" feature if you are using MS Word. Google docs has a similar feature and there are other ways to do this.

When you simply read back your own writing you will see what you expect to see in many cases, and not necessarily what is written. It's just the nature of the way we read. Having it read back to you slows you down, forcing you to pay closer attention to each and every word. You'll catch misspelled words like "her" and "here" that spell and grammar checkers will miss. You'll notice where commas are needed, or not, by the cadence of the text read back. You'll catch missing words and several other issues.

I often spend more time editing each paragraph using this feature than I spent writing them. Try it on one chapter and see if it helps you.

Guerin Zand | Website | Facebook
 

munboy

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2019, 12:30:40 AM »
Try using the "Read Aloud" feature if you are using MS Word. Google docs has a similar feature and there are other ways to do this.

When you simply read back your own writing you will see what you expect to see in many cases, and not necessarily what is written. It's just the nature of the way we read. Having it read back to you slows you down, forcing you to pay closer attention to each and every word. You'll catch misspelled words like "her" and "here" that spell and grammar checkers will miss. You'll notice where commas are needed, or not, by the cadence of the text read back. You'll catch missing words and several other issues.

I often spend more time editing each paragraph using this feature than I spent writing them. Try it on one chapter and see if it helps you.

It's not something I've done before, but I've been considering doing it when I finish my WIP. I usually do the best I can and then rely on my line editor to catch the stuff I don't. Doing this will add another layer of editing.
 

RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2019, 01:04:18 AM »
Try using the "Read Aloud" feature if you are using MS Word. Google docs has a similar feature and there are other ways to do this.

When you simply read back your own writing you will see what you expect to see in many cases, and not necessarily what is written. It's just the nature of the way we read. Having it read back to you slows you down, forcing you to pay closer attention to each and every word. You'll catch misspelled words like "her" and "here" that spell and grammar checkers will miss. You'll notice where commas are needed, or not, by the cadence of the text read back. You'll catch missing words and several other issues.

I often spend more time editing each paragraph using this feature than I spent writing them. Try it on one chapter and see if it helps you.

It's not something I've done before, but I've been considering doing it when I finish my WIP. I usually do the best I can and then rely on my line editor to catch the stuff I don't. Doing this will add another layer of editing.

I could be wrong, but I think this is a diy substitute to take the place of what a line editor does for you. I
 

munboy

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2019, 09:09:43 AM »
Try using the "Read Aloud" feature if you are using MS Word. Google docs has a similar feature and there are other ways to do this.

When you simply read back your own writing you will see what you expect to see in many cases, and not necessarily what is written. It's just the nature of the way we read. Having it read back to you slows you down, forcing you to pay closer attention to each and every word. You'll catch misspelled words like "her" and "here" that spell and grammar checkers will miss. You'll notice where commas are needed, or not, by the cadence of the text read back. You'll catch missing words and several other issues.

I often spend more time editing each paragraph using this feature than I spent writing them. Try it on one chapter and see if it helps you.

It's not something I've done before, but I've been considering doing it when I finish my WIP. I usually do the best I can and then rely on my line editor to catch the stuff I don't. Doing this will add another layer of editing.

I could be wrong, but I think this is a diy substitute to take the place of what a line editor does for you. I

I'll still hire my line editor. I just like to have it as clean as possible before I send it to her, that was she can focus on the grammar instead of bothering with me typing "her" instead of "here" or whatever.
 

RiverRun

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2019, 11:02:29 AM »
Ooh - I mixed up copy editing and line editing. I can see now why you might to text to speech before going to a line editor.
 
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Kyra Halland

Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2019, 11:29:02 AM »
Usually, not a lot of post-writing polish is needed. But I do find the depth in that last edit is like small dabs of crazy clue. I only add about 5% net volume to the story in edits. But that 5% is what holds it together. So, what are my words worth in an intangible sense that leads to very tangible monetary results when I do my own editing?

So I'm not the only one who does this! Even on those last proofreading runs, I find places to add a bit of depth and detail, that add those final finishing touches.

Thankfully, I love my books so I reread them regularly. Every once in a while I catch an error that slipped through. I just finished rereading my latest series and found four errors (out of one million words, so not too bad) that I'll fix and re-upload. None of these are glaring (one example was writing "beside table" rather than "bedside table" so most readers likely won't even notice). Over the years I'll continue doing this as applicable. I know I have a quality product out there, but I'm a nitpicking perfectionist. So yes, I self-edit, but the process is never truly over.  grint

And I'm also not the only one who does this, read my own books for fun. And I keep track of mistakes, and fix them and re-upload. One of my books, I re-read it and decided that a technique I was trying for showing emotion didn't work the way I wanted it to, so I'm going to do a full re-edit on that.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 11:32:51 AM by Kyra Halland »


Tales of fantasy, heroism, and romance.
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Genres: Epic Romantic Fantasy; Western Fantasy
 

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Re: self-editing: what does your process look like.
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2019, 04:23:34 PM »
I finish my first draft and let the manuscript sit for a week or two. Then I do a read through and catch what I can. Let it sit again for a few days. Then I have a text to speech program read it to me while I read it myself. After this second time through, I send it to my editor (daughter) and she sends it back dripping in red ink. Then I burn it.

 Grin

Kidding. I make the corrections she sent back, and then do the text to speech thing one more time and then send it to KDP.
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