Wednesday, January 14, 2015

An Editing Checklist

Hello, writerly friends, and welcome to another installment of What's Up Wednesday.  WUW is a blog hop created by Jaimi Morrow and Erin Funk to keep writers connected and encouraged.  For more information, check this out.

What I'm Reading:  I am currently reading AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, by the masterful John Green.  If you have ever watched Mr. Green's vlog and thought to yourself, "THIS is the guy who wrote THE FAULT IN OUR STARS???  All heart wrenching and romantic???  This guy is a goof ball!"  
Well, I'm not sure what happened there... but my point is AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES has had me laugh-snorting every other pages.  Some of that John-Green-Quirkiness made it into the book this time, and I am loving it.  

What I am Writing:  My WIP (THE BOOTLEGGER's LETTERS) went from this:
To This:
But you will notice that I haven't worked on it today yet, so I hope I can add another 1K.  I did have one afternoon where my three-year-old was having a birthday party so writing went out the window.  So my goal for next week would be to add another 5K.  That would be good... yeah I'll try that.
I did get a few chapters of my MG Sci-Fi edited.  Some more.  Again.  I am hoping to have that thing ready to query sometime this year.

What Works for Me:  I haven't actually tried this yet but I think I need to develop some sort of editing checklist, because my biggest problem with editing is that I don't really have a plan.  I need to be able to check things off the list (like you can with drafting).  Problem is, I don't really know what that list should have on it.  Here's what I got so far:
1- Fix obvious mistakes (spelling, grammar, parts where I forgot people's names...)
2.  Go back and check for "to be" verbs, was, were, ing
3.  Check to make sure each scene is important and in the right order
4.  Voice check- make sure each characters voice remains constant
5.  Overused words- In scrivener you can go to Projects and then Text Statistics to see what words you use the most.  This is an important tool!
What else should be on my editing list?  Help a noob out!

What Else is Going On: My baby boy had his third birthday party at Legoland.  It was epic.


  1. Good luck with your writing and editing goals!

    My ex-"fiancé" would probably still love a birthday party by Legoland. He loves Legos, and got me back into them too.

    1. I'm not gonna lie, the adults had as much fun as the kids :)

  2. Happy 3rd birthday to your little one ^_^

    Editing checklists are the way forward. It's the only way to catch things. That, and a great set of beta readers.

    Have a brilliant week!

  3. I think your editing checklist is great! I don't know if there's anything I would add to it. I'm all about the lists myself. Hope you have a great week of writing and other fun stuff, Niki! :D

  4. Thanks for commenting on my WUW post today! I sometimes reply directly on my blog, but I find people rarely wander back to see them. Anyway, my husband & I have never wanted to live in Stars Hollow (I think we'd both go crazy in both a town that small and in Connecticut), but we do live in Alabama, so I have plans to rewatch HOD to see how it compares. :)

    EDITING PLANS! Those are an absolute must for revisions. I'm a technical writer by trade, so I spend all of my time revising, basically, and it's significantly more productive and less stress-inducing with a checklist. I like the list you have going here, and I suggest finding your balance between easy (usually more tedious tasks) and hard (usually more involved) tasks. The tasks that are simple -- rereading for spelling mistakes, or double-checking "to be" verbs -- are also the ones that will infuriate you the quickest; so split those up into manageable chunks amongst the other things you want to hit in revisions. Like, "edit spelling of Chapters 1 - 5," and then "revise this scene that's not working," before switching back to spelling. Like with drafting, it's about being manageable and productive. Like I said, I'm a technical writer (which just means editor) by trade, so revision is my FAVORITE and drafting terrifies me on a deep, personal level. Ha!

  5. One of the things I notice a lot, both in my own scenes and when I'm editing for other people is when several sentences in a row start with the same word. ("I went to the store. I couldn't believe it was still there. I took it to the counter...") So I edit for that, and also I notice that I might not use a lot of the same words again and again, but I will use the same adjective several times in a page or two. So I look for that. I would love a copy of your editing checklist when you get it all put together!

  6. Holy moly! I didn't realize Scrivener could do that! There are so many features I'm still learning to use, so thanks for the heads up on that.

    My son and I recently watched John Green's two Crash Course Youtube videos on Romeo & Juliet. Informative and totally funny. I love that he uses humor to teach kids in addition to writing awesome books.

    Good luck with the editing! :)

  7. I love AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES - such a fun read.

    Checking for overused words is a necessary but insanely tedious task. Good luck editing and writing this week!

  8. I had no idea I could see my frequent word usage in Scrivener. COOL. I love Mr. Green. Good luck with your writing goals and have a great week!

  9. I love John Green;s stuff! And I'm impressed by your editing tricks -- I never thought of using Scrivener to check for frequent words, that's very clever. :D