Doing Some Reading, I Mean Editing


I have recently been attempting to edit my book, The Fireborn.  Notice I say “attempting to edit”, not just plain, “editing”.

When I edit, I find myself in one of three modes:

  1. Real editing!  I look at every word with a discerning eye.  I make changes.  I delete things. I add things.  I correct things.  I am editing!
  2. Proof reading.  I read through and pick up some of the more obvious errors and correct them.
  3. Reading.  I read.  I enjoy.  I continue to read.

I sit down for an editing session.  After two hours I’ve discovered that I spent 5 minutes on “Real editing!”, 25 minutes on “Proof reading”, and about an hour and a half just sitting back, reading and enjoying myself.

Hmmm, what’s wrong with this picture?  

Actually, the ratios have changed.  Near the beginning I did spend a significant amount of time editing.  As the book goes on, I slowly shift down the scale.  Yesterday I hit one of the big “action scenes”, and all I did was read (no, it wasn’t really an hour and a half).

Another way to say that is, the more I get into the book, the harder it is to edit and the easier it is to just slip into passive reader mode.

Back after I did my third draft, I decided to read it backwards.  The reason I did this was that I had I jumped around randomly and discovered that the later I landed in the book, the rougher the writing.  So I wanted to make sure I worked, not read.  I edited the last chapter, then did the next to last, etc.  Since my mind didn’t get into the story as much, I was able to get more accomplished.  Still, with the more exciting chapters I found myself reading.

This didn’t work perfectly, but it did help.

I also picked up some phrases that I over used and searched on them.  I would weigh each time and try to change at least half of them.  That was good too, because I was only looking at a small snippet of text, usually tow or three paragraphs at the most.

I know there are other ways out there to be in the editing mode 100%, but I haven’t found one that works for me.  Except, of course, get another person to do it.

How about you?  Do you have a method to keep you in the groove of editing and not reading?


15 thoughts on “Doing Some Reading, I Mean Editing

  1. lilbird1

    I kind of like the last option lol. Have someone else do it. Well I have considered getting into the editing/proof reading thing. I love to read and would love to chat with anyone looking for some assistance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Sometimes I just need to read ;) I did send this off to a few people to help me edit before I put it out, which helped, but I’ve recently discovered that I still missed a few typos. If I decide to do this again, I’ll put up the money to have it professionally done.


  2. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 29th of April | Trent's World (the Blog)

      1. ~M

        Me too… I finished reading my book today and then tried to edit my series for Channillo… I managed to get two chapters done, but it probably isn’t my best work. Oh well, I trudge along… Lol….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Good luck on it… I didn’t try to edit today, but yesterday was the day that I literally edited for a minute and then sat back and read for quite a while before I realized what I was doing…

          Liked by 1 person


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