Nat S Ford (natf) wrote,
Nat S Ford

Writing/revising/rewriting/editing advice sought

I am after advice about how to rewrite/edit a first draft into a second draft. Pretty fundamental advice, to be honest. I know there are probably many ways of doing this and I do know a little about copyediting and proofreading other people's writing but, how do people edit their own work? Do you rewrite it on the computer whilst reading it on a printout? Do you edit it on the screen within the copy that you are reading? I have no idea where to start, to be honest. I have never felt that I need to edit my writing because I have always written for myself and a few other people that seemed to like how I wrote in the first place. I have always edited a I wrote to an extent as well. Something I am still doing a little as I go along writing my IndyWriMo 2009 manuscript.

If you wouldn't mind, I would love to read about how you edit/rewrite. I have read (and am reading) a number of blogs and books on writing and the writing process but have yet to read anything about the editing process that is not more about the technical detail of copyediting notation. I cannot imagine writing it all again from scratch, to be honest, even when I am only up to just over 8k words so far.

Another thing: Software. I cannot keep the continuity details of my story in my head and am having to keep notes as I go along of character names and relationships, place names and other world-building details. They sit in a separate 'file' or 'card' within Scrivener from my draft and I can refer to them whenever I need to but, sadly in Scrivener, I cannot keep them on the display at the same time as my draft. I am not sure what to do about that. I am contemplating using the mac app Stickies or a paper notebook. The Stickies method may not be as portable, though. At least using Excel and Scrivener the files can live in my cloud-computing and therefore cross-platform and cross-machine Dropbox - I would have to investigate whether that would be possible using Stickies. I have a trial copy of Storyist as well as the licensed copy of Scrivener that I have been using. What do you use?

All this 'writing a longer piece' is a new experience for me and a learning curve. If all I do by taking part in IndyWriMo this year is learn more about how I write and how TO write/edit/research/etc. then it is well worth the experience.

I still edit as I go along, at least as far as editing typos and so on. I am 'lucky' in that I cannot touch-type because I rarely look at the screen and so do not do a lot of rereading as I go along but the red wavy line of the typo under words makes me look back every time I look up from the keyboard and I also tend to spot other errors in the surrounding words at that point as well. I tend to read at least that sentence or paragraph and fix any glaring errors.

Uh. Okay that has been a pretty waffly stream-of-consciousness post. This is how I write, at least in first-draft form.

To recap;
  1. How do you edit/revise/rewrite something you have written yourself?

  2. What software do you use and/or do you use paper and pencil? A combination of both?

  3. Any other hints and tips about the post-First-Draft processes?

  4. Any book recommendations that are not merely about writing, daily writing, creativity and how to have ideas - especially more about how to edit/revise/rewrite. Process and physically how to.

  5. Ditto website/blog recommendations regarding editing/revising/rewriting? I do most of my reading on the mac to be honest because I can read and knit at the same time.

  6. How important do people think a writing buddy or writers' group is? I am thinking about seeing what is available locally as well as the writing LJ groups and my writer LJFriends.

  7. Can anyone suggest any concrit (constructive criticism) LJ communities? I need to learn how to take concrit. This is going to be a HARD journey for me.

  8. Anything else? All advice will be gratefully received!
Tags: editing, indywrimo, writing

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.