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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Editing

I think it’d be safe to say that one of the banes of a writer’s life is editing. While I’ve learned to appreciate the editing process, I can probably speak for all of us out there when I say the process can be arduous and painful. The good thing is we hold the power to lessen our own pain in this process. Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve found to help keep the editing process from becoming a raging headache.

  1. Print out your manuscript – Yes, I know ink is expensive and it will take a lot of paper. But you’ll be thankful in the end. It’s the old adage of looking at something in a different light makes it look completely different. Reading your words on the printed page can sound/look very different than how they do on the computer screen.
  2. Read it out loud – this is especially useful for dialog. Reading your story out loud will help you with word flow. Think about it, if you stumble over reading a sentence out loud, you can bet you’ll have a number of readers that will get tripped up reading it too. I know some authors who like to read their stories into a recorder and listen to it as they are reading along with the written manuscript so they can focus more on the way it sounds. 
  3. Critique partners – Try to find people that will give you the feedback you need. You can do yourself a favor by explaining in detail or making a list of questions to help your partners understand exactly what you need from them. Finding partners that understand your genre can be a plus too.
  4. Read it backwards – This clearly wouldn’t work well for content necessarily, but this is a great way to help you proof read your manuscript for typos, grammar, and punctuation. It allows you to not focus on the story content and more on the technical aspects.
  5. Put it away for a week or more – Now I know time isn’t always on our side, but sometimes the best thing to do is put it away and pull it back out after some time has passed. If you can manage, put your manuscript away for a month. The more time that separates the last time you read it and your next round of edits gives your mind time to clear out and gives you the opportunity to read it with fresh eyes. 

What do you think? Anyone else have some editing tips that work well for them?

Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all. A thriving writing career. A wonderful daughter. And a marriage to the love of her life. But looks can apparently be deceiving because her husband just walked out on her and their eight year old daughter hates her.

Gavin Bergstrum can’t handle the direction his life has taken. Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists. Convinced he’s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce. But he can’t think straight in the same house as Lizzy. Hating to leave his daughter, but needing time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.

 In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space. But as time passes and he doesn’t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides it’s past time she takes matters into her own hands. Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.

Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities – all without compromising who she is.


In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.

As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

You can connect with Kristen here:


  1. Fabulous advice, Kristen. I never thought about reading my mss backwards! Thanks for stopping by today!

    1. I know, it felt so weird the first time I did it, but I was amazed at how many grammar mistakes I was able to catch that way. Thanks so much for having me!!

  2. Great 'to do' list. I ALWAYS read the text backwards, catching lots of errors. To your list, I'd add an analysis, scene by scene, of GMC and 5 senses. I'm doing that right now with my MS. Great post. Rolynn

    1. Great idea! Keeps the language from getting static. Thanks so much for stopping by!!