Put Down the Feathers

March 3, 2006

we’re not talking Conga Line. This is serious. We’re talking Line Editing a simple, but very tedious task you must do carefully before you submit to a publisher. You have about thirty seconds to catch the editor’s eye and entice them to read more of your book. If he or she sees typos, incorrect words (buy vs. by), or skewed sentence structures, it’s the rejection pile for your baby. And by all means, pay close attention to your punctuation.

This is how you do it;

• Print out a hard copy
• Grab a 12 inch ruler.
• Lay it under line one.
• Read each word slowly. Aloud is best.
• Focus. This is a must. Don’t think about anything but your novel.
• Make the corrections using a colored pen on the hard copy.
• Insert the corrections into your computer text.
• Take breaks or your mind won’t pick up the errors.

Some authors like to line edit from the back of the novel and work forward. It stops your mind from assuming the words are correct. I’ve tried it and it does work. All you do is read and edit the last page first, then proceed forward, one page at a time.

It’s a tough job, but you have to do it.

Next Tuesday we’ll discuss, “Publish This Novel”.

Until then…Happy writing!
Sloane

Sloane said @ 11:47 am | It's All About Writing

4 Responses to “Put Down the Feathers”


  1. Sherrill Quinn Says:

    Sloane, I never thought about editing backwards–but it makes sense. Thanks!!

  2. Sloane Says:

    You’re welcome, Ms. Quinn. But somehow I doubt you need any editing tips!

  3. Yasmine Says:

    I love pens. Yours are great. But, I love Flair pens, cheap, and come in lots of colors.

  4. Sloane Says:

    Yasmine, my little gadget queen, you have a way of always bringing a smile to my face.