At the moment I’m in the process of editing my second draft of the novel Plaster Scene. I’m using the Kindle app on the iPad to do this and it’s working so effectively that I thought I’d share it. I know it can be useful sometimes to hear of new ways of doing things and this is a real winner.
I’ve got six reasons why I wouldn’t do it any other way. Here they are…
Look and Feel
I use Scrivener to write with and this is where all my drafts are held. The main reason I do this is because it’s so easy to compile your document and export it in a Kindle format. You can then read your book in exactly the same format as it will eventually be read, this helps you to put yourself in a different frame of mind but it also pulls out any glaring format issues at this early stage. If you can correct them at the same time then your able to take away some of that formatting pain from your launch phase.
I read somewhere once that it’s useful if you can edit your book in a different location to where you wrote it initially. It enables you to lift your head up out of the detail and assess the words with a slightly different perspective. Although objective editing is almost impossible for an author, just moving away from that same old desk really helps.
Take it with you
The beauty of putting it in to a Kindle format is that you can use all of the benefits that come with Kindle, namely that you can access your work from wherever you are. I have the same draft on both my iPad and my iPhone so I’ve been able to churn through the second draft in cafes, on boats and even in a pub. When you have half an hour on your own, instead of wasting that time you can be mega-productive.
A feature that is really useful on the Kindle app is being able to highlight passages of text. One of the key areas that I look out for when editing, especially a second draft re-write, are passages or sentences that jar a little or simply don’t make any sense at all. The great thing here is that you can highlight the parts that don’t work and come back to them at another time, allowing yourself to remain in the reading zone. Kindle then summarises all of your highlighted areas in a long list so you don’t have to thumb through some weighty tome and potentially miss areas.
Similar to highlighting, you can also make notes very easily against the relevant part of the text. There’s no word limit for these so if you do know immediately what would sound better you can make a note of it and move on. Again, you can run down a list of these notes in an overview so that you catch every one of them.
Unless you edit your work on the screen at the computer, the other alternative is to print it out in a manuscript form. This costs money in ink, paper etc and for a novel length project this can be relatively significant. At least in Kindle it’s all free.
I hope this helps you to decide which is the best way to edit your drafts, but if you have a different way then please mention it in the comments. I’m sure there’s more than one way to skin a cat.