The Last Minute Editing Process Made Easy With Scrivener

How to Compile a kindle ebook in scrivenerYou’ve been hard at work, writing for months and you’ve finally finished your manuscript. The temptation is to send it out as quickly as possible as if it held some evil magic that you needed to banish from your home. You have spent so much time opening up the same document over and over again that the thought of doing anything more with it makes you cry.

‘STOP. It’sch not ready yet.’

You need to do the all important last minute read through. Whatever stage in the process you’re at, you still need the last minute read through. If you’re going to be sending it to a beta-reader, an editor, a proof-reader, or publish it, it still needs a last minute read through.

I always find something to do when I read through what I’ve written. It might be a turn of phrase, a correction, or a passage that sounds like gobbledygook. It’s important that before it leaves your protective custody it’s in its best possible form.

I personally like to physically be in a different place when I’m reading through. I’m a big fan of coffee shops so this would be my venue of choice but I suppose you could choose anywhere. I use my iPad because I have one and it’s easy to read on. It also gives you the feel of reading a book.

I have recently worked out how to sync my iPad with Scrivener (in this post) and this has transformed the way that I do the last minute read through. Just to clarify, I have an iMac at home and I use Scrivener for Mac. I use the PlainText app on the iPad and sync through Dropbox. All of this is explained in the link above.

I used to edit using the Kindle app on the iPad. It was great because I could physically be somewhere else, and I still had that feeling of reading a book. I would highlight the text that needed changing much in the way that you would mark up a hardcopy manuscript. I would then get back to Scrivener and make the changes.

However, with the sync functionality it’s even easier. I now read it through, make the changes there and then, and get back to Scrivener and re-sync. Done. I save myself at least half the time. I really recommend that you give this a try if you’ve not tried it already. It’s so efficient.

I think this is possibly one of Scrivener’s finest features. The ability to be able to edit across devices is fantastic. I even performed part of the ‘last minute read through’ on my iPhone. It’s so easy.

My editor prefers to receive the manuscript in Word, so that she can track changes, a quick compile in Scrivener pops it out in the right format once again.

Have you done the last minute read through in this way before? And were you equally impressed by the simplicity?

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15 responses to “The Last Minute Editing Process Made Easy With Scrivener

  1. Michael, great post. Really interested in the fact that you go somewhere else to do the final read through. Hadn’t thought of that as I usually end up doing it in bed at the end of a long day and inevitably miss stuff. Will definitely try your advice. If I may be so bold as to offer my own – if you have an iPad, try doing the final read through on iBooks (export from Scriv as an epub file). It makes the whole experience seem ‘real’ (or it may just be me that thinks reading it as a book is just awesome!) plus you can highlight and make comments, email it to yourself and then do the actual editing quickly on your Mac. Depends how pushed for time you are.

    I will be trying your advise as soon as I can find an excuse to sneak off to a coffee shop on my own! Keep up the great blog.

    • Thanks.

      I used to use Kindle on the iPad for much the same reason as you, it feels like a proper book. But at the moment I like the real-time editing functionality with plain text.

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  3. Hi Michael
    I had look at the app store, also mentioned was another app (WriteRoom) by the same developer, what do you think of it?, useful features?, synchs also to DropBox as with PlainText without the adverts. Comments please.

  4. Gordie, I’ve tried pretty much every App out there and found that iAWriter is the best text editor (simple link to Dropbox, simple interface, nice distraction free mode) and Textilus is the best rich text editor (allowing you to keep formatting – bit of a slog to set up, but has a wealth of options). Hope that helps.
    Scrivener rules!

  5. Thanks Mobewan
    You’ve saved me a few bucks too.

  6. I still need to invest in all the lovely technology to help make my writing life easier. My MacBook is too old for the lates OS X or iClouds (come to think of it, so’s my iPhone 3) 😦
    And my girlfriend loves our huge ass iMac so I rarely use it. Oh well, maybe when I win the lottery…

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