I’ve been spending the past month or so making edits on my upcoming short-story collection. I’m currently on the fifth rewrite; about half-way through the process, more or less.
Sometimes I’ll take a few days off so that I can have fresh eyes when I return to editing. But after looking at the computer screen over and over, I often take another approach to get a new perspective on my words -- I touch the print button on the keyboard.
For me, there’s something about holding a short story, chapter from a novel, or magazine article in my hands that provides a different look to my work. It's nice to actually go from page to page. Needless to say, it has more the look and feel of something published.
From the hard copy, I make the necessary edits using proofreading marks and then transfer the corrections to the computer file. I also find it easier to flip pages of paper rather than on a computer screen to check flow, names, scenes, and descriptions (although I keep handwritten note cards for that purpose as well).
I admit this is probably a carryover from my newspaper days when I wrote stories on a typewriter and passed them on to the copy desk. My first book was written with a typewriter as well.
I’ve gradually advanced with the new technology, but sometimes I find that it helps to take a step or two back to get things right.
Until the next time...