It’s a pain in the neck. Literally. Hate it. Besides despising the necessary mechanics involved, by the time I reach this phase I’m so sick of the story I want to just chuck it.
That is the ugly truth.
But, I’m not at the point where I can just toss it to a paid editor, along with a fat check, and gleefully move on to the next story. Maybe that’s a good thing. Much is learned during adversity, you know. Still stinks though.
I make yet another list. It’s a mom thing. Moms write lists. Tons of lists. ‘Cause we have to keep track of a bazillion details for a whole pack of ravenous wolf pups. I mean children. In any case, it’s a good skill to carry over into writing.
I make a list of editing tasks and finish the easy ones first, leaving things like Grammar and formatting for last. I won’t bore and distract you with the details, because I’m lousy at it. I’ll just give you a general idea of how I tackle this beast.
Besides the two books above, I have a valuable resource given to me by my last ePublisher. It went out of business, so I won’t mention the name. They were always nice to me there and I’ll always be grateful. In any case, this ePublisher provided each author with a list of pre-editing tasks, things they wanted us to clean up ourselves before sending our manuscripts to the professionals in-house. I think it saved them a lot of time. I also learned a lot from it and I still use the list today. They were great. If my writing’s crappy today, it wasn’t their fault. Since I can’t share that with you, I can only suggest you try to find one that works for you, either in a bookstore or from an authorly friend maybe. But, it really does help to have a pre-editing checklist.
A site I’ve found extremely useful over the years is Just About Write. They have a huge archive of helpful revising and editing articles. http://www.justaboutwrite.com/Article_Archive1.html
So, the first hurdle to get over, for me, is the I’m So Sick of Working On this Story I Could Just Puke phase. For that, I take a few days off, watch favorite movies that are completely unlike the story, go camping, whatever, anything to give my poor tired brain a rest from dealing with it.
Massive head-colds work great too.
Seriously. I’m absolutely ruthless at editing when I have a stuffy head. Try kissing someone with the Flu. Nah, that’s gross. Forget that.
Just do your best, slug it out, get to the end. Try ice cream, chocolate, I hear Starbucks works wonders in these situations. Anyway, best of luck. You’re gonna need it.
Thank God it’s Friday!