What's Your Biggest Editing Challenge?


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Thread: What's Your Biggest Editing Challenge?

  1. #1
    Member Justin Attas's Avatar
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    What's Your Biggest Editing Challenge?

    What's something you find you make the most mistakes with when you do your full read through? Is it tense confusion? Dialogue tags? Just plain old typos?

    For me, it's its! I constantly mix up which "its" to use in the heat of my writing flow. I know "it's" is a contraction and "its" is possessive but it's (lol) hard to remember when I'm typing away. What's your biggest editing challenge?
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  2. #2
    It's hard when you're typing away, but when you edit surely you can very easily tell if 'it is' is a valid substitute?

    It's always hardest to edit my own work, but I don't think that is what you are asking. The toughest part of editing my own work is deciding how much information makes a sentence and when I should start a new one.
    I can play safe and make short, choppy sentences. I can think these things are related and put them together.
    No, wait a minute.
    I can play safe and make short, choppy sentences, or I can think these things are related and put them together.
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  3. #3
    I do a very minimalist first draft and always add a lot of words in revision. I'll just leave myself notes to add things that I didn't want to flesh out the first time through.

  4. #4
    Always get a proofreader. I'll read through a story I've written several times and not find that I've left out words or made mistakes that I couldn't see(it's into its, your into you're, etc).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    I do a very minimalist first draft and always add a lot of words in revision. I'll just leave myself notes to add things that I didn't want to flesh out the first time through.
    I quite often write what I feel is a minimalist first draft, but when I have edited I find it is actually much shorter. Mind you, I also often find that the shorter, edited, version contains more information better expressed. I was banging out the basic idea thinking about the plot line and the things that struck me. When I go back I am looking for stuff like the order of ideas, concision, assonance, consonance, rhythm; I am writing up the ideas, but in doing so I often reduce the word count.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RD Meyer View Post
    Always get a proofreader. I'll read through a story I've written several times and not find that I've left out words or made mistakes that I couldn't see(it's into its, your into you're, etc).
    Yes, the hardest bit of editing is actually seeing what needs changing, it is not just things like omissions. I realise I have done things like putting related things at the opposite ends of sentences, something I regularly point out in crits, and read it through several times without noticing. I find that the more I edit the more sensitive I become to there being something wrong, then I work out what it is.
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  7. #7
    Not be biased and fail to notice mistakes

  8. #8
    My two biggies are useless adverbs and calling names in dialogue.

    I removed 600 adverbs in a revision of my latest manuscript. I evidently LOVE "actually" and "really". That was AFTER I removed 900 superfluous words in my first proofread.

    I'm somewhat ambivalent about calling names in dialogue, though. You can read experts who say "Don't do that", because people in real life seldom call the other party's name in conversation ... so it's not "REAL". Other experts discuss dialogue and advise, "Dialogue in fiction should be dramatic, not how people really speak."

    Well, calling names in dialogue IS more dramatic. So I do it, but when I revise, I cut it down to less than I originally included. In a long conversation, I'll throw one in here and there to keep the speakers straight. I don't use dialogue tags unless they include a helpful reference to emotion or stage direction.

  9. #9
    I like the idea that dialog tags need to contain more than one bit of information. I quite often look at the tag and think 'That is not needed, that is the way she talks, not him'. Then I get nervous and wonder if it is something only I would notice, do the readers know my characters well enough this far into the story? My guess is they do, and if they don't they should wake up! I'm not editing this for my benefit, I know the story.
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