Let’s Talk Editing

For the past two months I have been sharing Sunday Snippets from my short paranormal story Rivers of Black.

The more and more I have shared from it, the more I have realized skimming through the Word doc for my snippets, that I could make the story even better by running another edit of it.

It would be the third or fourth edit, I think.

I’ve come to the point where not running another edit of it is going to irk me. I already have the story posted to Wattpad, but now I wonder if I edited it, if it would be viewed a bit more.

So, needless to say, I have talked myself into running another edit of the story.

My only problem?

I want to do it differently from how I have been editing. Since I’ve gotten into writing more and more, I’ve come to find my old way of editing may not be the best approach.

(My old method was simply reading through the Word doc and editing it right from there. No red pen, no printing out, no seeing it in my hands, etc. etc.)

I’m thinking that if I tried a different way, I might be able to edit better. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on this story so it isn’t fresh in my mind, either. Except for skimming through for Sunday Snippets, I haven’t read through it or looked at it much in months.

So remembering exactly what I wrote and then missing an actual mistake of what I did write instead won’t be an issue either.

Now comes my conundrum.

How do I want to go about editing this?

I’ve heard suggestions on how others edit, and I have some of my own ideas, but I know there’s many different methods out there.

I am quite sure I am going to print it out to edit this time. (It’s not too long so I could print it myself without using an arm load of ink and paper.) And I might print or refer to my Sunday Snippets as I did minor edits within them as I shared the snippets. Not too sure yet, might be easiest to print those as well. I also bought a pack of colored pens for editing a couple months ago, but have yet to determine how I am using them.

(Never know when you’ll need the supplies. I’ve come to find authors are stationary supplies hoarders. I’m definitely proof of that. It’s amazing how many notebooks, binders, pens, mechanical pencils, etc. etc. I have.)

This all leads me to my question:

How do you edit? What do you find are the best methods that work for you? I’m looking for any and all suggestions on how others edit, so that I may get an idea of what may or may not work for me.

Now, I know everyone is different and different methods work better for each individual, but I have to find somewhere to start, right?

So, how do you edit?


4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Editing

  1. How do I edit? Keep in mind that I’m talking about novels…

    Step one is to change the font size to 10. (I work in 14 on the computer – old eyes.) Then I skim through and anywhere I’ve put a chapter break I have it start on a new page. Then I go to Office Max or Staples and get it printed and three hole punched. It then goes into a three ring binder and the fun begins.

    I have an editing bag. It’s actually a bag for crafters (I got it at Michaels). The big section holds the manuscript binder. A smaller section has a lot of little pockets and they hold highlighters, sharpies, paper clips, binder clips, Post It notes, colored pens, even scissors and a stapler. (I have a smaller version that’s just a make up pouch that holds Post Its, paper clips, and pens.)

    (I like to go to the library for editing sessions so the big bag is always ready to go. The smaller pouch goes to work with me in case I get a few minutes to knock off a page or two.)

    Step one is to put a paper clip on the first page of each chapter — and number the chapters as I go. Then I go through and read it, correct grammar, make notes of things that don’t make sense, rewrite paragraphs and sentences (using Post It notes as needed), highlight things I need to look up or check on, etc.

    Then I make changes in the Word doc (I don’t normally wait for the entire book to be done to do that — it’s too overwhelming). When it’s all done I read through it again and depending on how bad the first edit went I either start over from the beginning or look for beta readers.

    The printed out version gets turned into scrap paper.

    Now, aren’t you sorry you asked? LOL


    • Lol. No, not entirely sorry at all.
      Do you double space before printing it?

      I think I looked the other day — unless this is a number that I don’t even know where it came from — and this story was only 25 pages long. (Remember, I don’t know the meaning to short and sweet!)

      At least in DBH I’ve started leaving myself notes within the story in all caps and these [ ], but I wasn’t doing that in Rivers of Black yet. This story is one of the first ones I wrote back in 12th grade. Probably the second one I posted to Wattpad after finishing and editing. A process which I’m now wishing I would have spent more time on.


      • No, I don’t double space. I’m weird — I don’t like the way it looks. Plus, I use block paragraphs in my drafts (I don’t indent until I start formatting for publication) so double spacing leaves way too much white space on the page.

        I use the [ALL CAPS FOR NOTES] method too.


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