The more I write, the more I realize that I need to edit in two different ways. Yes, every novel needs to be edited with two separate styles in order for me to reach a place that I feel not only comfortable, but confident in my work. Two styles that build up with their own trouble spots and areas of assistance. In tandem my two styles each work together and I end up with a final project that is worth it.
Style One: On Screen
Unless I am extremely confident, my first pass through of editing is on screen. I take each chapter one by one. In this round I’m looking for anything that doesn’t work. Sentences that need to be tweaked. Words that would need to make a bigger impact. By editing on screen I’m looking at the little things. All the small parts that make up a whole are analyzed for their effectiveness. I can take big chunks out and make major changes. I can rewrite sections and reorder them. The major downside is that when I edit this way I’m looking to make each scene the best it can be. I’m not looking at how well it reads, but how effectively it conveys the story as I want.
Style Two: iPad
The second way I make my way through editing a novel is by dropping it onto my ipad. It is a virtually identical process to those who print out their work and edit on paper. The only difference is that on my ipad its a bit more portable. When I edit like this I’m able to dig deep and really take a look at what reads well on the page. If something doesn’t flow or feels awkward, I can get a sense of the bits that work and don’t. Again the downside is that if there is a major chunk I encounter that needs some serious changes, it’s hard to squeeze in all the notes necessary for improvement.
Together both methods allow me to catch what is necessary to make my story the best it can possibly be. Both readable and effective at conveying my story. Now getting people to fall in love with my MCs is a whole different story.