Sarah's Bio: Hi! My name is Sarah. If you see me, I will probably be writing, reading, or riding a horse. Possibly onstage in a play. When I grow up, I really want to be an actress and an author simultaneously. I am in the process of writing a series right now, and I hope to get it published before Enders Game the movie comes out (2013).
Hi! I'm Sarah. This is my first time blogging, so here goes nothing. I had asked to be a guest blogger, but I had no idea what to write about. Fortunately, my friend Ali (who is the editor of this site) said I could do something about how I edit her stories. So here's how everything works.
First, Ali sends me the new chapter of her story (which she eventually posts on wattpad.com) and I make little changes to fix grammar and spelling. I have a little ritual type thing that I do when I edit.
1 - I receive her story via email and put it in a special folder on email marked "Ali's various stories". This makes everything easy to get to, and I suggest you do the same with anything important related to writing.
2 - I copy and paste the new chapter into the word document (I keep a separate one for each story).
3 - I reread the entire story so that I know what's going on in the new chapter.
4 - Usually grammar and spelling errors really pop out at me, so as I read through the chapter I fix them.
5 - Finally, I go back through the chapter and revise anything that either doesn't sound realistic or sounds weird. Basically this makes the chapter flow and make sense.
6 - The last thing I do is send the new version back to Ali!
There are some things I specifically look for, because these mistakes are made often. Take this piece from her writing:
"I hate you!" She screamed.
She should be lowercase, so I'll fix it to look like this:
"I hate you!" she screamed.
It's also really important to cut things. I need to know when to cut something if, say, there are four paragraphs about what the room looks like and only one sentence about how the character felt when she said her line, this makes the reader bored. So, I'll change it to:
"The walls were a beautiful, indescribable shade of green."
"The walls were a shade of green that was not quite lime, not quite forest, not quite grass, not quite spring..." etc.
Last thing! Sometimes, let's face it, we writers let our imagination run away with us. But hey! Isn't that what writing's all about?
Well, not always. If you're trying to write a realistic fiction novel, then you need to make sure that there isn't a fairy flitting in the window when the main characters kiss, or a dragon starting a forest fire on a camping trip. More often than not, it's more like continuity again. I have to make sure that the characters on this fateful camping trip don't set up their tent in five minutes or less. Even if that is what it says on the package, I know from experience that the least amount of time to set up a tent is at least ten minutes. Just things like that.
Well, that's it! And although each story is different, most stories have the same type of mistakes. So, to become a great editor, look for these mistakes and anything else that needs to be changed. So, that's all there is to editing!
What do you look for when you edit something? Do you have a question about editing? Tell us below in your comment!