Tag Archives: office supplies

Editing the “Final” Draft

10 Jul

This month, I’m covering my editing process. If you haven’t read the first two steps—My Editing Process Starts in My Writing Process and Editing (Rewriting) the First Draft—then check those out now. Today is the last post about editing, but, as always, feel free to ask questions! We are discussing the “final” draft.

The “Final” Draft

So you have a solid manuscript. This means you have written, rewritten, and revised everything a couple of times. You’ve checked your weak spots and tightened your prose and wrote the best damn thing you could write. Awesome! But the editing process is not over. This part of my editing process focuses more on grammar than anything else, but as usual, I almost always continue to edit my prose. I might find weak sentences or (gasp) a contradiction in my story. That’s okay. It’s important to not get deterred, but there’s a few things you can do to help yourself out in this stage.

Here’s some photos from my editing process! (Cats are necessary.)

Print it Out

There’s only so much you can accomplish on the computer. You might think you can see all of your errors on your laptop, but trust me, reading your work through a different medium will show you new mistakes. On a side note, you can also try to read your book in a different font or color before you print it out. I tend to print it out when I know I still have a lot of editing to do, including rewrites. Why? Because I love to physically cut up my manuscript and shift things around. (This might be a result of passive-aggressive behavior, also known as rage writing, but it helps.) I’m also obsessed with different colored pens. I’ll use one for grammar, another for story issues, and another one that has authority over my other pens. (Like if I change my mind about a particular edit.) Other office supplies that come in handy include binder clips, paperclips, and Sticky Notes. But—basically—get physical with your “final” copy. Feeling it in your hands might help you feel better, too. The weight of all those pages can be a little overwhelming, but think of all you’ve accomplished! You. Are. Awesome.

Read Out Loud

I cannot stress how important this is…Though, I also want to admit that I used to NEVER do this. I thought it was one of those writing tips that could be skipped over. I mean, reading it out loud seems like it would take a long time. And it does. I won’t lie to you. Reading my manuscript out loud is probably the most time-consuming task in my editing process, but I also learn more than ever when I read out loud. I stumble over awkward sentences. I hear unrealistic dialogue. And I reread the same sentences over and over again, just to check the flow of the overall section or piece. Reading out loud, or listening to your book out loud, will help you discover more than you realize.

Check Back In With Those Notes

Remember all those notes that you took in the first two steps? Read through them again. Get to know every inch of your manuscript and make sure each thread is carried out consistently and accurately. In regards to grammar, keep a list of issues you know you struggle with. If you’re constantly switching then and than around, check every single one of them, and then check again. I am super bad about soldier, for instance, though I think my computer is the one autocorrecting my typing to solider. Knowing yourself—and your technology—will help you find mistakes faster…which means you get to that final draft quicker, too. Though, don’t forget, editing is NOT a race. Do not rush it. Take your time. Breathe. Ask for help. And keep going until you have that final draft you love.

Finally, Why Final is “Final”

No matter how many times you edit your own work, you will have to edit it again. Take publishing as an example. When you complete a manuscript and submit it to an agent, they might request a Revise & Resubmit. Even if they offer representation, chances are they are going to go through some edits with you before they submit to editors…and when you’re chosen by an editor, chances are they will have additional editing notes for you to work with…and then, it’ll be out in the world and there will still (inevitably) be mistakes. So new editions will have corrections. And editions after that will have even more corrections. (They were finding mistakes in the fifth edition of Harry Potter, for instance.)

Your work will never be perfect, and while you should always strive to create the best product possible, you should strive to embrace the editing process more…because you’re going to be editing often. 

I try to think of editing as another writing process. That way, it feels more fun and less overwhelming. Taking breaks between edits has helped me immensely and so has falling in love with new office supplies.

Create rituals, take care of yourself, and keep writing.

Editing is just another part of your publishing journey.

Embrace it.

~SAT

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Gifts for Readers and Writers

7 Dec

Today, I did an interview with Rusty’s Reading. One question was what my top three bucket list things are. I said, “Visit Japan, write a memoir, and…” You can read it here.

Minutes Before Sunset is also being featured on YA Book Deals. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free ebook! 

I’m glad everyone enjoyed the interview I did with Andrew Vogel, an actor on Under the Dome on CBS. I really enjoyed his take on creativity and living your passion to follow your dreams. But, today, I am talking about something seasonal. Since the holidays are near, I thought it’d be fun to share gift ideas for writers and readers for everyone who has one (or multiple of them) in their life. We all know about the common e-reader, but I thought I’d add a few more:

1. Gifts for writing, of course: I think most writers love office supplies: notebooks, notepads, pens, etc.

Join me on FB!

Join me on FB!

Anything to do with the office will probably be appreciated. Only be weary of that some writers are very specific on what they use. For instance, I only use G2 pens. So if you’re weary about office supplies, you can consider library fun for the office: bookshelves, bookends, desk lamps, etc. I promise you, libraries are getting really creative today. Just check out all the kinds of bookends and articles like 10 Crazy Cool Bookshelves. If you’re good with tools, a lot of these ideas can be built by yourself.

2. Editing software: Editors are expensive every time you use one. If you have software, you only pay once. (This doesn’t mean I am advising people not to use editors. In fact, I think everyone should. But having additional software before you send it off to the editor is great!) Software is also something I’ve also enjoyed using and testing out for companies. I’ve actually done a review of both Dragon Dictate and Grammarly on this website. And, yes, I own both now, and I use them on a regular basis.

3. It doesn’t have to always be for writing: thanks to those personalized gifts websites, anyone can write anything on mugs, calendars, t-shirts, pens, coffee mugs (yum!) and more. How great would it be to get one of your favorite quotes or books (or even your own novel) on a coffee mug? That’d be an encouraging way to start off the morning.

When "November Snow" was published, my father surprised me with this gift: the printed cover inside a silver frame.

When “November Snow” was published, my father surprised me with this gift: the printed cover inside a silver frame.

4. Vintage: Readers and writers alike might enjoy vintage things about their favorite novels or even their favorite writing tools. Think of old quills, typewriters, first editions, roll-top desks, reading lights, etc.

5. Gifts don’t always have to cost money. If you have a writer in the family, read their latest work. In a card, tell them you read it and what you thought about it. This will be greatly appreciated from many writers, especially if you haven’t been able to read anything of theirs before. If you have a reader in the family, this concept works again. Read their favorite book or promise to read so many novels a year with them. Look at it as a book club. It’ll help connect you and who knows? Maybe you’ll discover more things about writing and reading than you thought.

Related Websites:

CafePress: Unique Writers Gift Ideas

25 Gifts That Writers Will Actually Use

12 Affordable Gifts for Readers

GoneReading: Gifts for Readers

Have fun shopping! But, more importantly, enjoy the holidays! 

~SAT

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