Sisters in Crime recently started a Yahoo! Group for self-published authors. Topic headers allow members to search on any issue. Recently there’s been a number of suggestions on editing – how to, whether to hire an editor, etc. Some suggestions are: Change font, use one color pen (red), read from bottom to top; read back to front; don’t proof on computer screen; print on colored paper; read aloud (must); and draft up reading group questions.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks utilizing the Find feature in Word. I searched for glue words, which are unnecessary words that slow the reader down. My glue words are: Since, although, had, some, and want. During this process I also found extraneous words, sentences and even paragraphs to be deleted. By the end I had deleted almost 4,000 words!
The next step in the editing process is looking for long sentences. You know, the ones often connected by “and.” Those can be double checked by utilizing Find for the word “and.”
The last step in my editing process before I send the manuscript to my beta readers is to check chapter numbers. During writing I have added/subtracted and moved chapters around. I need to make sure the numbers are consecutive.
The devil is in the details!