Thursday, December 19, 2013

Editing your manuscript: Read it backwards

Now, the fun begins! Having finished my first draft of Mind Over All and done the first read-through and edit on the computer, I am now editing the document by printing it out and reading it backwards, one sentence at a time, from last sentence to first. Why would anyone edit a document that way?

* It separates the sentence from the plot, so that your brain is less likely to fill in missing words, skip bad grammar, etc., because it's focused on the story.
* It lest you analyze each sentence for clarity and beauty.
* It makes repeated words and bad habits stand out.
* It stops you from scanning or skipping over parts you know too well.

I'm about 20 pages into my backwards manuscript edit of Mind Over All, and I've already made about 200 changes.  Give it a try sometime.  It takes a lot of time, but the end result is worth it!

1 comment:

Nissa Annakindt said...

I think that for me the process of editing something backwards would feel a little like turning the universe inside out. Scary, disorienting and... excuse me, I think I'm going to go turn the universe inside out. Bye.