I am currently writing my seventh novel. I have published one novel for adults and three Y.A. and I have one book not yet taken and one which is just about to be submitted. But as Sue Gee, award winning author and Faber Academy tutor once said, "All writers are apprentices all their lives." So this blogpost is about my editing process with my Kindle as a relatively new and developing tool to help me.
Rachel Aaron's short ( and cheap £0.77) e-book and I decided to download it and see what there was on offer. I wasn't particularly interested in writing 10,000 words a day but I am always open to new ideas for the editing process.
The one idea I took away from this book was Aaron's recommendation to download your finished manuscript onto your Kindle and read it.
Because when you read a manu on a Kindle you read it like a reader.
But sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a biscuit, nice and relaxed, each page appearing like a page in a printed book in that pleasing rectangular screen my brain was completely in reader mode. I read the book over a couple of days and then I put it to one side, went out for a long walk came back and wrote a couple of pages of notes by hand and with a nice clear head.
Ok - SNAP! You already do all this, I can hear you say and yes, I would think nowadays, a lot of writers do the same thing.
But then I had a new revelation. I went back to the computer, continued working on my book and finally sent the finished manu to my agent. All done and dusted, feeling pleased, etc.
Couple of weeks later I decide to download and read the manu again.
Groan! Suddenly I see loads of copy edits ( houses instead of house) - not earth shattering, I know, but I am beginning to realise that my Kindle edits could have been so much more.
I rewrite the chapters - very satisfying job. Then I download onto my Kindle.
But this time I sit at my computer with the manu up on the screen.
I start at the beginning, chapter by chapter and every time I spot the error on my Kindle ( errors I have failed to see on the screen because I'm not reading like a reader and I seem to be much sharper in that role) I scroll down and correct it on the screen.
I catch all those pesky errors ( houses instead of house), feel I have a much cleaner text and press SEND in a much happier mood than before.
When I considered trying out this method I thought it would feel laborious and annoying.
In fact, I found it to be smooth and extremely satisfying.
From now on, I will be downloading in 10 chapter chunks ( I've just done that for the new WIP), reading on my sofa, making notes when I've finished and then working the Kindle and the screen version at the same time to build up to the much more perfected finished product.
Do you have an editing tip you'd like to share?