I have been through many drafts of my young adult, science fiction novel High School Rocket Science (For Extraterrestrial Use Only). (Yes, I’m advertising the book.) In what I hope will be my final draft, I developed a self-editing method that seems to work for me:
- After printing the novel, I use a pencil to mark changes chapter by chapter.
- As I finish a few chapters, I update each one in MS Word.
- I go through several slow reads of each chapter on the computer screen until I no longer find things to change.
- I review each chapter separately through MS Word’s Spelling & Grammar, Grammarly, and ProWritingAid. (The last two are by subscription.)
This self-editing method is a multi-dimensional way to help me find errors I missed in past edits. It lets me look at my novel in three different ways:
- paper copy
- computer screen
- through a software program
This self-editing method is designed for final drafts. I previously had my novel edited by a critique group and I paid a developmental editor. I realize I am getting more benefit from my current editing method.
My error is that I should have completed editing using this method before having another person look at my novel. I feel the advice from the critique group and the paid editor has been wasted since I am changing their edits to fit the changes I am making.
At least I’ll know for my next novel.