Humble Editing Pie

I have a confession to make:

I always thought the whole “print your MS out to edit it” was a bunch of hooey. Sometimes that would help, I suspected, sure, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. How can it really be all that different from editing it as a document on your computer?

Hello, heaping great portion of humble pie.

I printed out From the Shadows a few weeks back, just to see if it would make that much of a difference. And because I love love love this story and want it to be as close to perfect as I can make it, so I’m going over it with a fine-tooth comb.

Has it ever made a difference. I’m only about a third of the way through, but already this round of editing is making such an improvement. To the story development, to the word choices, little details that yes, would have slipped my notice if I was just reading on a computer screen, to big picture issues that suddenly make much more sense when I can actually physically compare pages to see “oh yes, this needs to go here instead of here,” or something similar.

So, I am eating my words (not really, since I never talked about my opinion – eating my thoughts?), and humbly accepting that sometimes, the accepted practice really is the right one.

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2 thoughts on “Humble Editing Pie

  1. Eating your words should be a whole lot easier in physical format too… Uh, never mind. :)

    I’ve never printed out my MSs, but I always read them on my Kobo – and yes, that static page is totally different from the scrolling computer screen. I see things there I simply overlook on the screen. I think it might have something to do with the way our brain works when we see “real print” – it expects a real book, so it reads it like one. Makes a big difference!

    • I am probably going to have to suck it up and read this aloud, too – another thing I have always found unnecessary, since I “hear” the words as I write them. However, since reading some of my childhood favorites aloud to the girls and learning how much I unconsciously “skim” when I read silently, that bit of advice is probably relevant, too.

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