Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How and what do you line edit?

I am working on a final line edit and was curious -- how do most writers line edit?

I re-read each chapter and do the following:

1. Smooth out the writing adding anything necessary to make sure it flows correctly.

2. Check for typos.

3. Double check punctuation - though this one is a toughie for me. I'm a firm believer that most writers should go to a comma AA group. My crit group adds comma's to my sub's that I would never dare put there. This is again the drag of my day job. My undergrad was in Communication but specific to business. So, press releases, memos, public speaking, etc. And one of my lit professors despised comma's and I guess it stuck! :) I have to force myself to add them in.

4. Double check for repetitive words.

5. Double check for my overused words - "could" is really my verb of choice, not "was." Then there's the weed "that" and the worm "just." And let's not forget the over use of gestures! Some I allow to fly b/c they support the voice of my MC, but when able I trim.

I work for a printer, so typically I print a hard copy and place it in a binder with tabs for my chapter starts. I then take a red pen to the MS. Once I've line edited 10 chapters, I add the changes to the Word doc. I aim at at least 5 chapters a day.

How about you? What do you line edit out and how do you go about it? Give me some tips to speed up the process.

M.B.

2 comments:

  1. I do most of those things. Also, I have the "it seemed/appeared" virus as well as the "I heard/though/saw/realized/noticed" bug. So, after going through all of my typical line edits, I do an edit>find on these words and change it to more active speaking. Like turning "I heard myself screaming" into "I screamed my bloody lungs out." :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha! I do the "I realized" as well and don't even get me started on repetition!

    ReplyDelete