Editing is the hardest part of writing. Writers groan over editing their longer pieces. Just when you think you have found everything wrong in the manuscript, you find the silliest punctuation mistake or the mistake gets published in the book or newsletter. (If you find an error in this article, email me for a prize. First one that finds one gets it.) How do you edit so you get all of the errors out of a piece of writing? Here is what I have learned.
First: Write the entire piece. I fix the spelling and typos as I go along otherwise my pieces would become unreadable. Get those ideas down. Then leave it alone for awhile.
Second: Do a first edit. This is here you look at the content of your piece. Does it have the content you want it to have? Does your plot make sense? Are there any writing holes you need to fix. I found a timeline problem in one of my pieces and had to change the days around for it to make sense.
Third: Edit your Point of View and Characters. Do you have several points of view, or one point of view? Do your points of view agree with one another? Does your POV character carry each scene? Are you characters making sense? I had to rewrite an entire scene due to my POV not being my main character’s.
Fourth: Edit by chapters, then pages, then paragraphs, then lines, then words. Take your piece through an stringent editing process from chapters to words.
Final edit: Use a speech app to read it to you. There is one in Word. Pay attention and you will catch a lot of little line edits that need to be done. Take your time and your piece will be polished and ready for that publisher.
You can also use an aide such a ProWritingaide or Fictionary to help edit your pieces.
When you write take time to go back and edit each piece with the care it deserves.