When I first began editing a book with intention to publish, I had no idea what to do, or what to look for, so I went to one of my favorite places to find information these days, the internet! I found a whole lot of advice there, some good, some not, but the place I found the majority of the information I actually used was in Holly Lisle’s advice on One-Pass Revision (updated from what I initially read, and still good).
I did as she suggests and printed everything out, which helped me see and note a lot of things the first time around and was indeed helpful. By the time it came to editing my third book of the series, however, I was in a serious time crunch in the real world, and simply did not have time to do my editing by hand once and then have to type it into the manuscript later, essentially doubling my work. To make things more complicated, I usually do my editing during my lunchtime at work, so I had to work with “being on the road” as I completed it.
With all of that in mind, I made the following changes. Instead of printing out my manuscript, to read and then write all over, I began by using the Calibre tool to change my word processed version of the novel into an electronic version I could take to work with me on my e-reader. Someone I read, during my search phase, had recommended having at least a month between completing the writing of the novel and the read-through, which I recommend as well, and did have. While I read, I took notes in my notebook about things that I should change when I did my edit – situations that didn’t work, dialogue to update, things I left out, repeated words (one of my constant issues), etc.
When I was ready to edit, I realized that the netbook that I used to use for portable typing had given up the ghost, so I got a new super thin laptop which had a solid-state drive, making it more durable and portable overall. Since I’m now familiar with my bad habits from editing two other books I wrote, it makes it easy to use search and replace to scan for things I want to improve, and using my notes from my read-through, it’s been easy to focus on what needs attention. I’ve more than doubled my capacity for edits now, which is good, because it’s going to allow me to stay on track to produce a book a year from last year through 2018, to finish out the Super: Series. At any rate, these are some of the tools and methods I’ve been using, so I hope someone else might find them helpful, as well.