Before I can do edits, I need to re-read my piece. This is my pre-edits step, you can say. I try not to even make simple changes (like spelling/grammar fixes) and focus on my reading of the material and everything I have to do. And there’s quite a bit.
As I’m re-reading, I write down the current outline. I say “current” because I know changes are to come. (I’ll talk about those in a bit.) This way, I can also write a good synopsis when I’m finally done (and just nitpicking).
I also mark things like important details. That way I can keep timelines/clothes/important item location right through out the story. Recently, I was working on a piece that said a character was leaving “in three days.” Well, I messed up continuity somewhere and ended up having her leaving two days early. So, I’m glad I do this!
Like I said earlier, I avoid making fixes. I mark these, even if they are simple fixes. I want to keep reading and not fall into writing/editing. Each fix is classified (like “cut this character” or “choppy sentence”). When I have specific wording in mind I write that in my note to myself.
And, while doing all that up there, I also mark off my checklist. This list is checked against each page. I check for the senses. I also check for 10 key things. They are story themes, important character traits I don’t want to leave forgotten, and so on. Click the link for a PDF of my Read Through Checklist! This is to keep the world vibrant and the subtler things on track.
And that concludes my sharing of PDFs on my current writing process!
Do you dive into edits or prepare?
How do you organize your edit notes?