Often the part of the writing process people hate, only slightly less than marketing. But Editing is a key part of writing. So whether we love it or loathe it, doesn’t stop its necessity.
Now, there are many ways to do an edit, but today I want to discuss the Epic Edit! Some of you might hate me for even discussing this, but there is some things to be said for the Epic Edit.
Not sure what the heck I’m talking about? Read on!
Let me ask you a question, how do you edit?
One of those many… MANY steps of being a writer are the oft-times dreaded “edit”.
We cast our eyes with panic over our manuscript, red pen poised to highlight all the glaring errors we made. And boy are there lots!
Some writers attempt to ignore the edit all together or hurriedly cast a quick glance over and consider it “enough”. (BTW, it’s not!)
Horror or Joy?
Some people hate editing. Some people love it. Which are you?
Some people write the whole manuscript before reaching for their editing pen. Others write, edit, write, edit as they go.
Do you jump for joy at the chance to polish that marvellous story of yours? Or do you cringe at the very idea of having to hack it to pieces again and again?
So, seriously, how do you edit?
Well, I have changed a lot throughout my writer life. I used to write a scene (because I write in scenes, not chapters) and then edit it. Then a few days later I’d come back, read it again and edit it again.
Sometimes I’d print scenes out and edit them in red pen. Other times I’d do it on the computer as I read.
Let’s just say I didn’t have a system unless “disorganised and random” is a system. In which case, that’s mine.
A Different Way To Edit
There is another way to edit. One that I think few people even know about. All those who I’ve spoken to never considered it.
I think of it as the Epic Edit (just to clarify, this is not some method *I* came up with. I take no credit, I am just spreading the knowledge of it and gave it the name Epic Edit because that’s how I see it.)
The Epic Edit
So what’s involved in the Epic Edit, I hear you cry.
Simple. You re-type your manuscript.
You just re-type every. single. word.
Whether you print it out, and type from the paper copy or (if you have two screens) put your existing copy on one screen and re-type it on the other.
A normal edit is when we (or someone else, BR, CP, editor etc) reads through the work and marks up any errors, consistency issues, glaring plot holes etc.
These are then amended (if required) in the manuscript…and then the process is repeated, usually a few more times.
So why consider the Epic Edit?
Apparently, the idea is that because you are typing it all again, you are more likely to spot mistakes. More likely to realise that something doesn’t sound right or that there’s a plot hole you have missed.
It gives you a whole new perspective because you are reading as you write.
It is considered to be a method that could potentially tighten up your manuscript by shining a light on every single word.
That’s a lot of typing
Oh yes. Depending on the size of your manuscript, that is a lot of typing. Especially for those of us who write over 100,000-word stories.
Sounds Herculean, doesn’t it? Maybe if Hercules was around in modern times, this would be one of his tasks.
I have to admit I am curious about it. I certainly don’t relish re-typing my manuscript, but the idea that maybe it will give me a new perspective.
That it will show up every glaring error and clunky dialogue line that may have slid by unnoticed (let’s face it, that happens), is intriguing.
To do, or not to do?
November is a little crazy for me right now. As mentioned in my last post, I stupidly signed up at the last minute, for NaNoWriMo. Something I had never done before.
I am also still working on the draft of my current manuscript and attempting to develop the plot for the sequel which I hope to start writing as part of the 85k90 Day Challenge.
Add to that a Flash Fiction I need to write for someone and my business is in the middle of the Christmas rush, I barely have enough time to come up for air.
What this means is that at present, at least until November is over. Any editing I do will be as I have always done it. Red penning it and crying at my mistakes.
However, I am very tempted to put my current manuscript through this Epic Edit later on. I feel I need to try this method out.
Who knows, it could be one of those incredible concepts that revolutionise our writing and has us gasping “OMG why didn’t we do this earlier!?”.
Or it could be a huge time suck. That gives no good results.
But sometimes, we have just got to take the plunge and see.
Over to you
So, how DO you currently edit?
Would any of you consider doing something so different as the Epic Edit?
Do you already participate in the Epic Edit?
~ ☆ ~