I have decided to give BiaAtlas a line by line edit, or also called a re-write edit for various reasons.
It got 100% rejections from Literary Agents.
It is still way over the allowable word count minimum.
I found a very obvious mistake within the first 50 pages.
It’s been long enough I want to get back to it with the new tools and skills I’ve learned since I last looked at it.
I wanted to double check consistency.
For me looking at the entire manuscript is… overwhelming. I end up glazing over errors or catch myself reading instead of editing. That’s a waste of time and counterproductive.
So I sat back and thought, Okay, I can’t focus on line by line. I can’t bring myself to retype it, I know I’ll litter it with new typos. Then I had an idea.
First I went through using the search and replace feature in the word program as I outlined in my post Well colour me silly, I then highlighted ALL the filter words that I could find that infect my writing with unnecessary words. All LY at the ends of words to highlight dialogue tag adverbs. I then did the same with ING. Once I had a document with all the things I need to look closer at, I opened a blank word document(Make sure to set the document double spaced, times new roman and 12pt. for industry standard. Also use the tab to set paragraph indents to not hit tab for each paragraph.)
I titled the filter word colored document BA rewrite template and the new one BA line by line 2018.
Because I know I need a smaller chunk to focus on I started by copying one paragraph or two small ones or a block of dialogue (100 words approx) I changed the text color on the BA rewrite to purple and pasted the chunk to the new document.
I took time to carefully read the allotted section of text and to my surprise, I was cleaning up sentences and sweeping out the filter words and adverb dialogue tags. Every section was becoming slimmer on word count as I edit.
Once I had the new section edited I highlighted and changed it to light grey.
The reason I changed the copied text to purple then, my newly edited text grey is to make it glaringly obvious what I’ve done. It also helps to keep track where I left off if I have to walk away for hours or even days.
If I need to check what’s coming in the next paragraph I do a quick check on the original.
Now because I’m a bit data detailed I also keep track of things as explained in my post Keeping Track. I created a new spreadsheet to keep track of chapter word count, from the original and the new version. Since I’m shifting chapters a bit by combining some, I’m also tracking the chapter mini-synopsis in this chart.
This is slow work, but I’m surprised at how many things I’m seeing that need fixing. Oh, and in the first 50 pages, I found an inconsistency in chapter numbers. Oops, I cannot explain how that happened.
My advice about Rewriting or line by line editing.
Find a method that works for you, but only do this after letting the book sit for a minimum 1 month, 3 is better. Write stuff in-between. This way it gives your brain a chance to reset and see errors otherwise missed due to familiarity.
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