Does Your Brain Get in the Way of Editing?

One of my favorite editing techniques is to read my manuscripts as Amazon intended: on my Kindle.

I’m not a fan of any particular e-reader.  I happen to own a Kindle, and I still love to purchase the printed word.  (My bookshelves are proof of that.)

Love ’em or hate ’em, e-readers are here to stay.  So, I do my readers a service if I edit my book in all possible formats – electronic as well as print.

Throughout the writing process, I’ll email my manuscript (formatted in Microsoft Word) directly to my Kindle. By “changing the frame” of how my eyes see the words, I’m more likely to notice sneaky typos, clunky sentences, and draggy paragraphs.

Why does this matter?  Click the link to read a scientific explanation.

My Beta Readers received Beta Buckets with a printed proof copy of All of Your Business around two months before publication

Familiarity breeds mistakes.  The brain is a bit too smart for its own good – at least when writers try to edit their own work.  The brain swaps letters and plugs in the holes that need to be unswapped and unplugged.

So what happens when my own eyes aren’t enough?

When possible, I hire a professional editor.  It’s expensive but worth every penny.

I also distribute proof copies of my manuscript to my team of Beta Readers.  These are folks who read in my genre and have the time to consider a series of broad content questions.  I also ask them to hunt for typos.  (When editing 100,000+ words, it absolutely takes a village.)

For me, Beta Readers are invaluable.  They bring their own unique perspectives and skills, and my novels are better because of them.

This wraps up my answer to the original question: “What’s your writing process?” For those of you who’ve followed this blog series, thank you for your time and attention. With two more novels currently on my authorial plate, look for future posts about writing, book launches, sales, and more!

And to all those who made it through #NaNoWriMo: CONGRATULATIONS!  Even if your novel isn’t finished, you’re off to a great start.  And starting is often the hardest part!

 

About F. E. Greene

F. E. Greene has been telling stories with words for more than twenty years. She is the author of multiple series including contemporary romance (Richer in Love), time-travel romance (Love Across Londons), and fantasy adventure (By Eyes Unseen). A novelist, songwriter, poet, and photographer, she has taught young journalists and coached creative writers in both scholastic and volunteer settings. Greene's novels blend feel-good romance, mild suspense, a touch of whimsy, and her steadfast affection for all things British.
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