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Every Writer Should Edit in Color

    
 
     Rarely are you going to find a writer who loves editing, who can't wait until they finish a draft so they can edit, who excites at the sight of a thick red pen marking every flaw.
 
    Red pens have their place, but personally I don't think that editing a novel is their job. The color red on a piece of writing sparks an uncomfortable feeling. Red has the tendency to whisper in our ear, "you messed up."
 
     Editing a story isn't to find all the mistakes for a final grade. Editing is part of crafting a story. Editing should not be a negative. Every story does have flaws and mistakes, but editing is to fix them, not highlight their existence. Editing shouldn't be about the markings on the page, but making the story better.
 
    So don't edit in red.
 
    Edit in colors that make editing a little more enjoyable. Use colors to seperate your school work from your story. Edit with colors that help you focus on improving your story, not picking out all the flaws.
 
     I used to have a formula for the colors I used. Blue would be a grammatical error. Pink would be an addition. Yellow would represent a text I needed to remove. Before I knew it, I was distracted by figuring out what color I was supposed to use and the editing became unnecessarily annoying.
 
     Now, I use colors at random. Each change is just another color. It doesn't matter what color, but I have noticed my editing progress faster. I'm a third of the way through, and I haven't hit a wall yet. Yah.
 
     Side note: I edit by hand because I tend to zone out when reading on a screen. Editing needs to be an active process for me, so I use many highlighters and sticky notes to organize my edits. If you think you're like me, but don't want to spend a fortune printing your book, I have learned a couple things. Shrink your margins, and print on a two column horizontal format. This cut the number of pages in half, and Word makes it very easy.
 
     How do you edit? What are your thoughts on using colors?
 
     ~Alyson

Comments

  1. Ooh, thanks for the tip on printing out a smaller stack of paper. That will be very helpful when I begin line edits. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be posting soon about how I printed my book to edit : )

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