Last week I started reading my book chapter by chapter. I decided to do this using a hard copy and making comments with a red pen – a way that has always worked well for me when I was editing proposals. I’ve decided not to make any changes to my manuscript until I complete this first round of edits.
And much to my surprise I’ve found lots of things to edit. I’ve found typos and awkward sentences. Unbelievable! And after all the times I’ve looked at this document.
This proves how important it is to let something alone for a good amount of time before trying to edit it. It’s important to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. I used to tell engineers that when I trained them in proposal writing. Unfortunately on proposals, which are deadline constrained, there is not a lot of time between the writing and editing stages, but here on my manuscript I had the luxury of several months in between. It is almost as if I am reading the document for the first time.
I’m also finding repetition and inconsistencies. – not surprising at all to me. And I’m actively looking for places to insert the new material necessary to my story.
Besides the redlines I plan to use the storyboarding tool that I used for so many years on proposals. I have a long hall next to my office and I plan to set up large cork-like boards against the hall walls so I can pin up all the pages of the document. That way I can see it all at once and better spot redundancies and places that need cutting, moving, and expanding. But, I must wait until after Ben’s wedding before putting up the storyboards. Best to keep my walls pristine until that’s over.