Taking apart and putting back together again


Humpty Dumpty has nothing on editing a manuscript.

It’s surprisingly difficult to keep the entire story in my head while weaving a new thread throughout. But when all is said and done, I feel like a painter, adding layers of paint – depth of colour and feeling – to my existing work. It’s rewarding stuff.

What I’m finding helpful is:

– Word’s “Find” function – I’m jumping around in the manuscript using key phrases to help me locate passages.

– a hard copy printout of my third draft, marked up with the consolidated edits from my critique group.

– a five page chapter by chapter point form summary, marked up with insertion points for new passages.

I’d be really interested in any tips and tricks you’ve found useful!

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2 thoughts on “Taking apart and putting back together again

  1. Index cards! I write out key points and scenes and then rearrange them or squish new ones in between. If I have time to kill I’ll also color code them with those little post-it arrows, by character or conflict or whatever. They make it easy to spot the other crucial events in a character’s life (or in a particular storyline) so I can see how sticking in an earlier scene should reverberate down the line.

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