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The Editing Light Bulb

Hello my fellow bloggers, hope you've had a productive writing week.  Mine was devoted to editing my manuscript.  First, I printed it off, then grabbed my trusty red pen and went to town.   One glaring mistake I noticed (among many), was I tended to repeat phrases.  I seemed to love using the following words: then, such as, just as, but, yet, and at that moment.  I also have problems with commas.  Depending on the day and my mood, either I overused or underused them.  There was no happy medium.
By the time I finished editing the first five chapters, the  pages looked as if someone had bled on them.  

Although I reviewed my draft onscreen multiple times before now, somehow the problems slipped past me.  Guess my editing lightbulb must not have been connected to the outlet back then.

 Best I can figure, my heightened attention to detail was a result of setting the project aside for a while.  Also, I'm sure that having a tangible manuscript didn't hurt anything.  It probably provided a different perspective as I read. Whatever the case, I'm glad the lights came on.
   
Do any of you follow certain steps or procedures when editing a manuscript?  Is anyone guilty of filling their draft with overused phrases? If so, I'd be interested to know about them.  Until next time, happy writing.  

Comments

  1. I had a productive writing week with Nanowrimo.

    I always print out a hard copy, then edit. It gives me a nice break from the computer screen, plus I like the smell and feel of paper under my hands. I used to use 'but' a lot and, well, I still do. It's a pain BUT I'm working on it. ;)

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  2. Oh my goodness, I have several over-used words and phrases. And even though I go through it over and over again, I still miss them. Thank goodness for critique partners and their eagle eyes. Good luck with your revision!

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  3. I did that exact same thing and discovered I had an affinity for the word THAT! After a while it looked like warts all over my book!! :)

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  4. I find that putting the manuscript away really helps. I find phrases like that a lot in my manuscript as well. I hope you get through it though.

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  5. Joanne, keep up the good work on Nano. Also, good luck with eliminating the word "but" from your prose. It comes up a lot in mine too.

    Julie, thanks for the well-wishes. I totally agree with what you said here. A second set of eyes makes all the difference in the world between a well-written MS, and one filled with errors.

    Warts!!!! LOL, D.L. "That" is one of the most overused words in my M.S. I noticed people use it a lot when they speak, so it seems natural to transfer into the prose.

    Yes, Clarissa, letting the M.S. marinade in a drawer somewhere really does make a difference during editing. Somehow it allows me to see the words clearly & objectively.

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  6. Loved the sketch!

    I use to print out my manuscripts, but found so much needed to keep changing, that I do it all from my WORD. document now. But I do miss my red pen days.

    Setting it aside for a while really helps! I also hope to show it to others more in future!

    Best of luck with your editing!

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  7. Hi Jacqueline. Welcome to Aspiring Novelists. I usually edit from Word, but as stated above, doing so caused me to overlook a lot of mistakes. Guess I'd better keep some red pens on hand. Take care.

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  8. I overuse then and so. And was. And I overuse !!! I also like to print out a hard copy to edit as well as edit on the Word document on my laptop. Whatever works, it just has to be done then, so there!!

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  9. LOL, Karen, you are so right. Editing does have to be done.

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  10. OMG! I am a serial repeater. I'll use one phrase several times and then switch to another. All the time totally unaware I'm doing it. I overuse 'it'.

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  11. Oh yeah, "it's" easy to overuse pronouns. I was accused of this early in my writing career. Since then, I've been hyper aware of how I use pronouns in prose. Now, if I could only lick the rest of my grammar problems.(:

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  12. Hi, new follower from Alex's Insecure Writer's Project. I find that I not only repeat words but sometimes ideas. Good luck with your editing!

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