I’m out of wearing a spring coat up here in Minnesota and life just got a little busier. My meet-up last weekend turned into a paid project to help two other authors get their book ready to publish. I received their 75,000 word story during the middle of the week and it’s a tear jerker. I knew this but then I realized that I have to re-read this story over and over again – my box of Kleenex is ready.
I feel like I’ve done this a million times for myself and other authors but this is the reason I learned the how-to’s – so that I can help other creatives. I pulled up my KDP guidelines a few times and got to work. If you’re going to edit your own work, or someone else’s, then keep track of your changes.
I find track changes to look messy in Micro Soft Word, so I minimize the numerous lines that occur by creating a separate edit sheet. I studied other editor‘s suggestions and followed with YouTube videos to see if there were new tools in Word. Having a background in design I know that the tools in all programs get updated and improved, even if you have experience reviewing wouldn’t hurt. I highlight and then use Evernote or a separate pages sheet to write down my major paragraph changes and repetitive mistakes. This way it’s cleaner and easier to review. Keep in mind that most editors will ask for any style sheets, outlines, and character sheets.
My challenge in the next few weeks is to improve the bare bones of the true story, but maintain the author’s voice. On a side note – Micro Soft Word warning – when you use contractions it will try to correct them with more formal language and then when you change it back, it will try to turn it back into a contraction. My rule is to write the way people speak so that your story is easy to read for your audience.
As a writer, I recommend putting on an editor hat with someone else’s work. You’ve looked at your own too much but reviewing a friend’s or a stranger’s is a good idea because inconsistencies become more apparent. You start to see all those things that an editor would point out to turn your work into a best seller. In other words, you’ll become a better writer by spending a day on the other side of the publishing world.
Words sounds so much better in our heads. Our flow of logic sounds reasonable but only to ourselves. You need to have someone else review your work to ask questions because your readers aren’t you. Yes, you are your brilliant self but we aren’t the best at editing our own work. I smile to myself as I type this because it’s obvious when you read someone else’s work.
Collaborating with other creatives always opens up my mind and I learn something new every time. Now that it’s easier, start to go for those coffee meet-ups. Then, let the thoughts flow on paper as you work your way toward you’re new novel!
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