Sionnach Wintergreen

author of romance and fantasy

Indie Editing for Indie Authors

8 Comments

Recently, a professional editor told me I didn’t need her editing services. I was extremely flattered! Editing can be hard work, particularly when you’re editing your own material. I’m sharing my method in case it might help other self-published writers on tight budgets.

  • Edit while you work. Before I start writing a scene (I typically write in scenes), I scan the previous day’s efforts for typos, unintentional repeated words, etc. This serves the dual purpose of getting me into the world and voices.
  • Do a rough edit. After I finish the rough draft, I do a rough edit. I search for typos, adverbs, missing or misplaced commas, and inconsistencies. I look for things like hair and eye color that changes for no reason, voice changes, and weak verbs. Because I’m an indie author, I tend to stick to old-fasioned usage and grammar rules. Lay people don’t trust new authors and won’t realize you’re trying something new. They’ll probably just think you don’t know what you’re doing. Choose a style manual and try to be consistent.
  • Have beta readers. Good beta readers are invaluable. Betas will not only help you by asking questions about character motives and ferreting out plot holes, they will also notice typos and missing words. I submit my manuscript to betas after the rough edit.
  • Enter beta edits. This is often where I do some rewriting. Theoretically, you shouldn’t have to do anything too extensive. Your story should have been ready to go when you sent it to your betas. If you have to do significant rewriting, consider running the story by at least one more beta before continuing.
  • Do a final read through. I can’t stress the importance of this step enough. It’s so easy to mess things up by cutting and pasting, adding new phrases, etc. Use the final read through to correct the small errors still in the manuscript.
  • Stop picking at it. If you’ve done your rewrites, edits, had your manuscript read by betas, polished your piece, and gave it a final read–you’re done. Publish it, send it away, give it as a present to your fifth grade Engish teacher–whatever. Just don’t mess with it any more. Move onto your next project. Call your book finished and let it go.

That’s it! Oh, and have fun. Use different fonts and colors to mix things up and change the way your eyes see the text. Currently, I’m editing the sequel to my M/M romance, Because Faery Godmonster, and did the rough edit on a blue background with white New Times Roman text. (I wrote it on a white background in Arial.) I’ll probably do the final read on my tablet. The different format seems to expose typos.

Happy editing!

8 thoughts on “Indie Editing for Indie Authors

  1. Excellent strategies. I do this, more or less. I keep a scene by scene plot synopsis with photographs as I’m creating for consistency and update when I change something. I write on my laptop but when I do the FINAL edit, I send a pdf to my iPad. Then I read the whole thing out loud and use old-fashioned pen and paper to jot down page numbers and errors. The odd one still seems to sneak through, but that also happens with the books that are edited by the big publishers. By the time I get to the FINAL edit, I’ve read and changed things countless times. I think I read To Charm a Killer over fifty times. You better love the book you’re writing or you’ll hate it by the time you’re done…if you even get that far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of writing on different coloured backgrounds, with different inks and fonts. I’m going to try that right now;)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry. Yeah, I use Word.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Indie Editing for Indie Authors – I Suck at Writing

  5. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post on the topic of indie editing for indie authors from author Sionnach Wintergreen’s blog.

    Like

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