Around & Around We Go

Hamster wheel
[photo: Hamster Wheel by sualk61 CC]
SOOO here’s some sort-of news for a change. I swore I wouldn’t blog until I finished draft 2 edits, so here I am and pleased to report that I’m done this round! Now that the plumbing’s fixed, I’ll let the book sit a couple weeks then do a round of grammar fixing before soliciting beta’s (You’ll be sure to hear from me then).

Now here’s a question for you: Do you print out your work and do a round of paper edits, or do you just jump straight into your word processor of choice?

I’m debating this one, because while I do find paper edits valuable, I ignored most of my notes and got sucked in by the word processor the last time, so it just seemed like extra work. On the other hand, paper gives you a fresh view of the text and a bit of distance. Though, I’ve heard some people will change the font during an edit on the computer for the same effect.

In other news, we bought a house! I’m so excited. I’ll finally have room for a desk and have somewhere to plug in my ergonomic keyboard! No more balancing laptops on top of dresser drawers, or hunching over my couch. On the other hand, my work commute’s probably going to be an hour each way by public transit. I suppose that’s just how these things go. Maybe I’ll turn into one of those book reading bus riders and that’s not really a terrible thing at all.

So… yay or nay on the paper?

9 Comments to “Around & Around We Go”

  1. First of all, congratulations!

    With me, the biggest thing in editing is to separate marking a change from making that change. So, I always used to print out drafts and mark them up. Then, when I went back to the computer, I’d make the changes, or, quite often, I’d decide not to. That’s why I want that buffer, to give myself the chance to change my mind.

    I don’t print anymore, though, because now I do the same thing on my Kindle. I put my draft on there, read it and make notes, and also (I’ve come to really rely on this) have my Kindle read the draft out loud to me. That’s great for finding awkward phrasing, needlessly repeated words, and also basic mistakes like “he” for “the” and so on.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      I like the idea of having the writing read out for you. I read mine aloud by myself, but usually get tired sometime during the reading. Sounds like a good way of doing it, and thanks 🙂

      1. Kristan already pointed out the great advantage of machine reading (machines don’t automatically fix the things that people do), so I’ll just add that I also use a very good Android app called IVONA (that’s the Text-to-Speech engine — I use it with an app called Moon+ Reader).

        I’m currently enjoying listening to my most recent story with a British accent — which kind of suits the rather elevated and mannered way that some of my characters speak.

  2. Omigosh, congrats on the house and the draft! Doubly exciting!

    Like you and Anthony have already discussed, having the work read aloud to you is so valuable. (Reading the work yourself is helpful in a different way.) My crit partners are kind enough to read pages aloud at our meetings while I am drafting; in revision, I use my Mac’s built-in speech function, and I’m sure Windows has something similar. (But if not, google it. There’s a free thing at Stephanie Mooney uses. Sorry I don’t know the link and am not in a position to easily find it right now.) The computerized reading actually helps me catch things because there isn’t a human automatically making corrections for my mistakes.

    As for printing or screen-ing… Both? I found it immeasurably helpful to print out the entire manuscript and mark it to bits. (And scratch out whole pages. And rewrite new scenes in the martins.) Then when I was inputting those changes to the computer, I essentially did an additional, more micro level of revisions at that stage.

    But of course, there’s no right or wrong, and everyone works differently.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Thanks Kristan! Hmm, I never considered having someone else read the pages to me, and I’m sure there’s something I could use on the computer. More things to try!

  3. I haven’t paper-edited in two years and sorely miss it. At this point I think having a text in a different form would help me process the different mindsets necessary to produce and then alter major works. I just need to justify the printing costs, as I’m on a tight budget. I’m thinking of doing this for the next draft of my novel.

    And huge congratulations on passing this round, TS! That’s great!

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