We all know that I’m not the best at self-editing. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I tend to end up proofreading rather than editing. I know what I want to fix but can’t figure out how to fix it. So I skip it to “deal with it later.” And that’s not good for any writer and their novel.
I’ve decided to give myself a good kick and really make 2018 count. No more “prep” for this or that and then never following through. I like to think I’m a hard worker, but I’m pretty slow. I think I’m ready at this point to finally do something about my writing and I think it shows in my editing.
A few months ago I talked about Rainbow Editing your manuscript. It’s all about using various colors for different parts of your novel. For example, I use the colors in the following way:
Red – Typos, spelling, grammar
Orange – Dialogue, description, pacing, tenses, etc.
Green – Plot changes
Blue – Character development
Purple – Research and fact-checking
Pink – Overall structure, vocabulary/word replacement, etc.
I started using this method to edit The Scribe this month and I can’t express how impressed I am that it’s working for me.
Instead of losing steam after 10 pages, I edited over 60 in one sitting. Which, admittedly, is a big deal for me. My manuscript is marked up with mostly orange, green, and blue with a little red, purple, and pink sprinkled in. I’m cutting probably about 75% of the story, so the majority of the pages are filled with a giant green X.
I think this method helps me focus on one thing at a time rather than looking at the whole picture and getting overwhelmed. And no, I don’t go through a chapter six times in a row for each individual color, I look at each page, each paragraph, and think to myself, “what’s not working here?”
After I mark up a paragraph or a few with green and/or orange, I look back at it making sure the character development makes sense, that the paragraph should be in that spot, etc.
It’s hard to explain, but it actually works and I have to say I’m impressed.
It’s a slow process, but it definitely helps. The pages of my manuscript are so colorful and maybe I just get easily distracted by pretty things that it’s holding my attention more: “How much color can I splash on this page?”
In all seriousness, I have to rewrite more than half of this story, which I’m in the process of. So… it’s going.
I still have about two weeks to finish the rewrite and give it another good edit. I still plan on publishing the story onto Wattpad in January. So, wish me luck!
Are you editing your NaNoWriMo novel right now? Do you try different editing methods or tend to stick with a certain way? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!