Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Writing Process IV: Page Editing

After I finish my first draft, I do a round of edits I call 'page edits'. This is exactly what it sounds like. I go one page at a time, fixing sentence structure, paragraph structure, dialogue, typos and all that good stuff.

But most importantly, I try to take out as much as I can. I read each page as though it were an excerpt of my story that I was using to get your attention. Is every single page entertaining? Does every single page make me want to read more?

I cut anything unnecessary, trim and tighten what is left, and polish so that each and every page will give the reader a clear sense of motivation/drive, character development, action, plot-- something. Every page is critical.

Needless to say, this takes quite a while. Sometimes after I've been doing it for a couple hours I get lazy, and start skimming pages. This is when I know I have to stop, and pick up tomorrow a couple pages back from where I leave off.

However, this is often one of my favorite parts in the writing process. I get to look at all the pretty words that are already there (and already rather polished, due to my obsessive editing as I draft) and all I have to do is make them prettier.

One interesting thing: when I'm editing I have to have music going on in the background. While drafting I can write with music, or without. Sometimes it doesn't matter, sometimes I have a preference based on my mood. (With The Temper I'm writing a lot with no music, just silence.) But I always listen to music while editing, though the type of music changes per project. (I love and I don't know what I'd do without them!)

Next up: Writing Process V: Beta Readers

See you soon!

What is your next step after finishing a first draft?
Do you listen to music while writing/editing?


  1. The editing is always the hard part! I'm such an impatient writer. I don't edit at all as I write because I just have to get my words and thoughts down, which means my rough drafts are horrible but the real magic happens with the edits. And music is always necessary!

  2. I love editing. When you can just switch into complete analysis and perfection mode and polish everything up. It really makes me smile just thinking about it. LE SIGH though, I am only in the re-writing stage of my novel at the moment but I am still giddy to be past first draft. Happy editing!

  3. I always listen to music when writing, but I find it distracting when I'm trying to edit. It's funny to see that you're my opposite. :)

  4. I wish I loved editing. It might make me faster. LOL! And music. I dream of writing or editing or doing anything to music. Alas, my mind is much too easily distracted. Great post!

  5. And can I just say...I can't find that darn ninja fish!!!