Hello From Under the Willow,
I am here hiding. Yes, hiding under my willow-I wish. I did that when I was a child. I hid under the willow in our front yard thinking no one or nothing could find me. I was wrong. I know hiding will not help now. I have to come out and do the work-editing.
Ugg! I don't mind the second or even third draft when I edit my MS, but when you look at it and know you have to get in there and do the hard work, I am ready to hide. When I see entire paragraphs, scenes or pages that don't work and I have to tear them out and save them in my deleted file it gets to me. I worked hard on those original words. After I performed all the necessary rework this time and I read it again I see the improvement. That's when I know the work is well worth the time. Some of my deleted work can be reworked into my MS in a different place. All's well or is it. Hmm something sounds out of place and here I go again.
I'm not sure how many times I have written and rewritten the same words or scene. Each time I know it is better, but starting the editing process can be daunting.
I have found a few things that helped me in the beginning and I thought I would share them. Using the Word program is wonderful because it catches most of my spelling errors and some of the punctuation mistakes. For other things I have read blogs and checked out web sites and used some of their programs. Some are free. Some moderately priced. I prefer free. Search the web for other sites that may have help for what ever problem you are facing.
For one of my first problem solvers I used Auto Crit to help me find errors in my MS. I love blogs that offer help. This one Taking Out the Trash was helpful with a list of words we should try to avoid using and other suggestions. The last link is Better Writing through Cheap Technology with a list of links to other useful ideas to help you edit your MS.
I have printed pages out and read them out loud and had some read to me, but I found I can upload my MS to my Kindle and have it read to me. It amazed me how many tiny errors I read over but heard when they were spoken. If you don't have a Kindle there is a link in the Better Writing link above that will connect you to an on-line reader.
With all this help, editing has become easier, but I still miss all the words, phrases and sentences that I deleted from my MS. They all made sense and sounded good at some point. Happy writing to all of you and happy editing, too.