My Editing Process


Well, since I’m not ‘in the mood’ to write tonight, might as well talk about something relevant, like my editing process. I’ve got it down to a science, unfortunately it does take a long time, but I find it’s worth it. Phase I is using the AutoCrit Editing Software. The software analyses your text for overused words, repeated words, dialogue tag use, and initial pronoun use. This eliminates a lot, typically 10% of my words, getting rid of sentences with little meaning, and making the text read a lot cleaner. I can’t speak more highly of this software, if used properly. Initially, in my quest to remove all overused words, I was reconfiguring my sentences into Yoda-speak, so, it must be used with care.

Now that the book’s been trimmed, it’s time to add, bringing the word count back up. Each chapter is outlined per section by character use, plot, and other pertinent information. This gives a clear ‘flow’ of the story, if it’s moving too fast or slow, if we don’t see characters for a chapter or two, which sections are linked back-to-back and which have gaps between that can be filled. This process allows for a lot of ‘eureka’ moments as you put the final pieces of the puzzle together. It’s these little ‘off screen’ moments with the characters that add heart to the book. Then, repeat Phase I. When is a story done? When you’ve crammed everything you can in there without making it cumbersome.
Here’s the AutoCrit report on what I’ve written so far:

Well, since I’m not ‘in the mood’ to write tonight, might as well talk about something relevant, like my editing process. I’ve got it down to a science, unfortunatelyit does take a long time, but I find it’s worth it. Phase I is using the AutoCrit Editing Software. The software analyses your text for overusedwords, repeated words, dialogue tag use, and initial pronoun use. This eliminates a lot, typically 10% of mywords, getting rid of sentences with little meaning, and making the textread a lotcleaner. I can’t speak more highly of this software, if used properly. Initially, in my quest to remove all overused words, I was reconfiguring my sentences into Yoda-speak, so, it must be used with care.

Now thatthe book’s been trimmed, it’s time to add, bringing the word count back up. Each chapteris outlined per section by character use, plot, and other pertinent information. This gives a clear ‘flow’ of the story, if it’smoving too fast or slow, if we don’t see characters for a chapter ortwo, which sections are linked back-to-back and which have gaps between thatcan be filled. This process allows for a lot of ‘eureka’ moments as you put the final pieces of the puzzle together. It’s these little ‘off screen’ moments with the characters that add heart to the book. Then, repeat Phase I. When is a story done? When you’vecrammed everything you can in therewithout making it cumbersome.

Here’s what I’ve written edited with AutoCrit:
Since I’m not ‘in the mood’ to write tonight, I might as well talk about something relevant, like my editing process.
Phase I is using the AutoCrit Editing Software, which analyses your text for overused words, repeated words, dialogue tag use, and initial pronoun use. This typically eliminates 10% of my words, getting rid of sentences with little or no meaning, and making the text a lot ‘cleaner’. Initially, in my quest to remove all overused words, I was reconfiguring sentences into Yoda-speak so it must be used with care.
Phase II is bringing the word count back up. Each chapter is outlined per section by plot, character use, and other pertinent information. This gives a clear ‘flow’ of the story, if the plot is moving too fast or slow, if we don’t see characters for a chapter or two, which sections are linked back-to-back and which aren’t, with gaps between them that can be filled. This process allows for a lot of ‘eureka’ moments as you put the final pieces of the puzzle together. Then, repeat Phase I. A story’s done when you’ve crammed in everything you can without making it cumbersome.

Phase III is combing the proof copy for typos.

So, that’s how I edit my books; unfortunately it takes a long time, but hopefully the benefits of the process can be seen in my writing.

Link: AutoCrit Editing Software

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About scavola

author of the gay 'Duke' and GLBT 'ATL Engineering' series
This entry was posted in writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Editing Process

  1. Pop a hyperlink for AutoCrit in there, and you'll have a perfect post.You're going to (unintentionally) talk me into purchasing the blasted thing if you keep on!

  2. scavola says:

    The link was embedded in the AutoCrit name at the end of the post (yeah, I'm that high-tech) but I've labeled it now to make that clear. Thanks for stopping by!

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