I am crap at editing my own work. Part of it is a lack of distance; I don’t give myself (or have) a lot of time to let drafts rest between completion and the revision phase. Distance is important. The story is so wound up in your head, it’s almost impossible to look at it objectively. I’m terrified of the editing phase because without fail, I will miss something. Human error, right?
Cat had some great suggestions last time we talked shop:
- Change the font.
- Change the color.
Both suggestions disrupt the visual of Times New Roman dragging down 500+ pages of document. Spelling errors or missing words stand out more.
Of course, there’s always the standard Read it Out Loud. Nothing quite nails those awkward phrases like a full-blown one-woman (or man) show. My problem is a lack of alone time in which is enact this rendition of THE KILLING TYPE–LIVE! and the fact that my brain tends to override any missing words or errors by filling in the correct words.
Not exactly helpful, brain.
Then I remembered one of Scrivener’s weird features: IT TALKS.
I stumbled across this feature one day by mashing who knows what command code, and I could not figure out how to turn it off. Under EDIT, way at the bottom, there’s a tab reading SPEECH. It drops out into two options: Start and Stop.
Scrivener will read back in monotone whatever text you select. It’s boring as hell, but listening to my book was far easier than trying to read it aloud to myself. I caught numerous missing words and spelling errors, places where I’d changed an event and forgot to alter it elsewhere, found awkward sentences. It’s probably one of the best accidental discoveries I’ve ever made.
I finished listening almost 94k in two days. She might have been monotone, but there is nothing more hilarious than Scrivener attempting to read French (I guess foreign languages are not her strong suit.) Equally hilarious and deeply mortifying is Scrivener reading the NSFW bits. I’m a little horrified with myself at the moment, but I survived.
I’m definitely going to remember this tool for future use. Maybe revisions won’t be so terrible after all.
Speaking of, I’m getting back to work on The Other Book, and I have a New Project I’m still chipping away at in addition to a Super Secret Project. You know I mean business when ordinary words get capital letters.
In the meantime, THE DARK CARNIVAL anthology is out and FREE for download on Smashwords. Here’s the link! My story “Sleight of Hand” appears in this collection, and I think it’s pretty nifty. It’s also free. There are bunch of stories by some of my favorite fellow writers, as well as illustrations. Did I mention it’s free? Because it is. Totally free.
It’s also available on Amazon.com, but is listed as $.99. If you wish to purchase it, the money will be donated to charity. Hopefully soon it will be free on Amazon as well.
I’m going to go drown in a book that isn’t my own. Come back Sunday for a review and giveaway of Delilah S. Dawson’s SERVANTS OF THE STORM.
Tis the season. Give the gift of demons.