If you’re anything like me, editing is like pulling teeth. It’s a bloody affair, ripping apart the carefully crafted novel you’ve fallen in love with – but it has to be done! So, how can you make the editing process easier and more enjoyable? Check out my 7 tips to help you along the editing process.
1. Set Small, Daily Goals
By setting yourself small, daily goals, you’re setting yourself up for success. Dedicate yourself to just editing one chapter or one scene of your novel per day. This easily attainable goal will help boost your mood and your confidence, while making the overwhelming task of editing your novel seem like a much easier and more enjoyable process!
2. Make Yourself a Reward System
Editing is tough, there’s no other way to say it. One of the best ways I’ve discovered to making editing easier and more enjoyable is by instituting a reward system. Basically, as soon as you meet one of your small daily goals, give yourself a reward. That could be another cup of coffee, 30 minutes of TV or anything that really gets you excited and spurs you on to the big finish.
3. Start From the End and Work Backwards
One way I get myself through the rough process that is editing is to work backwards through my manuscripts. Working backwards is great because it mixes things up a bit and allows you to work on your most recent writing first. It’s also great for helping you spot continuity issues and voice issues, as you really get to see how you’ve connected all the pieces together in a different way.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Use Editing Software
Editing software is a great tool to spot the grammatical errors that you may have missed the first time around or in subsequent editing sessions. My favorite software is ProWritingAid, which is a super-affordable and mega-powerful editing software that pinpoints all kind of great things like dialogue issues, passive and active voices, grammar and much, much more. Even better? It learns as you write and even has settings for creative writing, which differs greatly from any other form of writing.
5. Make Checklists
Checklists are some of the best ways to stay organized and on track during the editing process. When sitting down to edit for the first time, look for things like dialogue errors, structural issues, voice issues and character issues. Once you’ve read through your manuscript and identified those items, make yourself another checklist of the “big picture” issues you want to change and specifics of what you want to change.
6. Give Yourself Deadlines
If you don’t give yourself deadlines, it becomes easy to push your editing to the wayside. Just like you set your daily goals, give yourself easily achieved deadlines. For instance, if you’re just starting out in the editing process, dedicate yourself to editing one chapter per week. Spend a little time each morning or evening editing that chapter and give yourself a strict Friday deadlines. Bust your hump to make sure that deadline is met. This will help build up the self-discipline you need to make editing easier and more enjoyable.
7. Turn off Social Media
It’s no surprise that social media is a huuuuuge distraction. So turn it off. By not having your social media open and available, you cut down on its potential temptation and allow your focus to be solely on your writing and getting your edits done!
And just like that, you’ve made the editing process easier and more enjoyable! What do you think? Have other great tips for making editing easier? Let me know in the replies below!