How I Try to Stay Sane
By Daryl Devore
So I have devised a few tricks to try and lessen the agony of edits. I'll list my top 3.
Go To Words (over used) – I highlight my personal ones and ones I have learned from doing critiques for other people.
In my first book, my 2 go to words were "that" and "just". Next book – I watched for those and proudly submitted the manuscript knowing it was pretty clean of those offenders, only to learn I'd picked up a new go to word – headed. Every character headed somewhere.
That's when I starting paying attention. I now have a massive list of things to watch for.
And yet, I still came up with a new one. I asked a friend to do a beta for me and she pointed out there were a lot of uses of "then". She read book 2 of a 3 book series. So I went and checked the other 2 – wow – can I use then a lot!!!! An edit I did for a friend – in her first book everything was black. He drove a black car. Her hair was black. His mood was black. I tacked on a list of words that meant black. Problem solved. Next book I critiqued for her, very few uses of black – yay!!! But everything had gone brown. He drove a brown car. Her hair was brown. His eyes were brown.
I'm waiting for her next book to see which colour is next.
Next thing I always look for is what I call "was ing" – passive verbs. She was walking to the store. This is how I check for it – was and ing . Yes, the manuscript erupts with colour, but at that moment I am only looking for the 2 colours close to each other. What's funny, is even after that how many passive verbs still exist in my document. But I have a cp who is my passive verb queen. She will not let them pass!!
And my 3rd trick, is to make the font massive. I will expand the font to 36 or 48. Plus, on page view, blow it up to 200%. This puts few words on a line or on a page. Below is a screen shot of the opening of one of my WIPs. I find myself looking at each word and can check for spelling errors or whatever much easier than if I leave it in normal font. In normal font, I tend to get wrapped up in the story and forget check for things.
What's your favourite editing trick?
At this point there is supposed to be a cover and blurb and maybe an excerpt – except I don't have a new release to discuss here. The book I thought would be ready, I pulled from my publisher and am in the process of deciding what to do with it.
About DarylDaryl lives in an in old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road, or snow shoe across the back acres and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flew high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.
Daryl Devore – http://myeroticnotions.blogspot.com
Victoria Adams – http://victoriadams.blogspot.com