This afternoon, I had to make a trip to the department office to hand in some paperwork, so I decided to email myself the manuscripts for a bunch of short stories that I’ve either submitted for critique, or else want to submit for crits, and which I want to revise this summer, alongside the novel-drafting I’m doing.

I figure, the university is giving me “credit” (as achievements, but not as publications) for story publications, so I ought to be able to print stories at the department office for the purposes of revision and editing.

One reason I printed the stories is that, while I find the actual application of edits, and the process of drafting, both immensely easier using a computer, I find editing itself to be quite difficult without a pen and a paper printout of the text I’m working on — at least, this is true of the fiction I write.

Anyway, I polished up a story that was critiqued long ago — last winter, before we lost several members to expat drift — to the point where I could send it out tonight, which is nice. I need to get more work out into circulation.

(I also discovered a story that is pretty much complete and ready to send out, if only I can think of a place to send it.)

I wonder what other people find is useful for editing. For me, a black or red pen, and a printout of the story — especially printed two pages to a sheet, which minimizes the amount of paper shuffling necessary when entering the edits into the electronic text.

2 thoughts on “Editing…

  1. I feel I need a hardcopy to edit a long (for me) piece. For smaller works, I have put the file on Google Docs in two windows so I can see two segments of the writing yet still know any editing in one will appear in the other. If you have a multiple-screen setup on your desk, this might be more useful but it is satisfactory on a small screen.

    I have carried a text file on my Kindle to comment on but never to seriously edit.

    Wodehouse was apparently famous for taping his story pages to a wall, with the height of the page corresponding to its quality. I know books were shorter back then but I have always wondered where he found the room to put them all up and how much paper he went through.

    Not really related: What word processor do you use? The gadget-happy people at Boingboing seem to like Scrivener but others like simpler WPs for the first draft.

  2. surprisesaplenty,

    That’s true, for shorter things (not that I write many, but…) onscreen is okay. I tried to convince myself that onscreen was okay for longer stuff but now I have relearned that it really isn’t — I miss more, but also, it’s SO much slower.

    For the purposes of crit, I tend not to print things out — I got out of the habit when my previous printer died, and getting a new one didn’t get me back into the habit… but I may change the habit. I have a pretty long piece I need to crit this weekend, so I figure it’s worth a try.

    Wodehouse probably had a “wider house.” :) Groan. Some things are only funny when said aloud.

    Being that Scrivener wasn’t available on Linux until March — and I was unaware it had ever become available for Linux — I use OpenOffice. I used to use Abiword because it worked better in terms of certain features, but OpenOffice pretty much does what I need it to, now.

    Which doesn’t mean I won’t try out the Scrivener Beta, mind. I’m always game to try something new.

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