Thursday, April 5, 2012
Magic Thursday: The Magical World of Editing
Recently, I polished up one of my manuscripts for a competition. I knew I had wanted to enter this competition for months, but of course, that is when all the other things to do come into play. I started a course this year in graphic design (part-time), and instead of doing the one to two subjects I had originally thought, I have ended on taking the full four subjects of the part-time load.
This had definitely cut into my time. So among assignments, I had editing to do.
I needed to change the internal monologue of one of the characters. She is tough but didn't come across that way. Also a refocus on the fantasy in the first part of the book, with the romance being more prevalent and a motivating factor in the second half of the book.
What helped me get it done? - the Speech toolbar in Word. That's right. I had my computer read it out to me! What do you know, it picked up lots of bits and pieces, including repeated words, sentence structure, dialogue usage. Hearing it also made me realise that the manuscript was there with the little tweaks.
Finally. This is the book that would not end. The book that I call my 'CFS' book. The one that I have stopped and started more times than I can remember. I had entered it a couple of years back in the Golden Heart and while it was in the top 1/3, it didn't make it. And going through it again, I can see it was not quite there.
Hearing it made me use another sense, at the same time being able to read along on the screen. Yes, the computer voice is not natural, and some words (especially in my fantasy made up world) aren't pronounced properly, but that doesn't matter. You pick up so much.
I used to read out my work, but got a sore throat, so I stopped. And totally forgot about the benefits of hearing the words. Last year, I did Angela James' Before You Hit Send workshop (brilliant workshop, btw), and I was reminded of this great tool.
So will this be part of my regular editing routine? You bet.
Do you listen to your work?