This is what my editing looks like. Look how much red there is! And this is a part that doesn’t even have a whole lot wrong with it. What? You didn’t think I was serious about breaking out the red pen? Well I was, and I did.
My goal is to work through a chapter a day with pen and paper to the end before I even think of making any changes to the file on my PC. And once I make it the whole way through all 22 chapters, I’ll be starting back from the beginning and doing it all over again for a second pass to make sure I didn’t miss anything. The upside? The chapters only average about four and a quarter pages each since this is a novella, so tackling one every day is an easily accomplished task.
For those of you who a writers and hate editing your work, I find it’s so much easier to edit with a printed copy and a pen than on a computer screen. It makes me despise the process a bit less anyway, and that’s a good thing. For me personally, the biggest problem with doing it on the computer is that I have a short attention span, so I have trouble focusing on the task at hand when so many other distractions are readily available (internet, email, etc.). I find this is especially true on longer works. Longer works just seem so daunting a task that removing the computer from the equation makes it a bit more enjoyable. Give it a shot next time you find yourself avoiding editing. Just make sure the pen is red so you can easily find your edits when it comes time to transfer them to the computer.