A friend of mine has a special bat. It’s called the Edit Bat of Doom. When the time comes, she pulls it out and uses it with great enthusiasm! Editing is a necessary evil. Everything from a thank you note to a 500 page novel requires a bit of editing. I know we’ve already talked a bit about the process this week, but here are a few more tips on it. So take your own Edit Bat of Doom out of the closet and lets learn a few new swings!
1. Read you paper out loud. It’s easier to hear a mistake than read one. If you stumble reading it, you know you have a problem. If you still aren’t sure, take it to someone you trust and ask them to do the same.
2. Leave as much time as you can between writing and editing. Fresh eyes pick out the problems faster. Try to do something in that break that gets your mind completely off your story.
3. Read the paper backward (from the end to the beginning) one sentence at a time. This helps you concentrate on sentences and words rather than on the paper’s meaning as a whole.
4. Know the errors you commonly make. Make a list of these errors so you know what to look for. For each error, read through the paper (or chapter for longer works) once. Don’t try to find all the errors on your list in one pass.
5. Use the spelling and grammar check, but don’t rely on it. Have dictionaries and thesauruses at hand and USE THEM.
6. Place **’s where you think a reviewer should pay special attention. Make sure to go back through and take these out though!
7. Ask yourself who, what, when, where, why, and how when reading for content. Does the text answer all the questions you think it should? Highlight the sentences that answer these questions. This makes it easier to see if the questions are answered in a logical manner.
8. If a character is acting out a procedure or action of some kind, do it yourself to make sure you didn’t miss any obvious steps.
9. Don’t edit under fluorescent lighting. The flicker rate is slower than regular lighting and your eyes won’t pick up inconsistencies as easily. (WOW! Learn something new every day huh?????)