Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tips for Editing

Now that the holidays are over and you might be getting back to writing, what’s your number one tip for those who struggle with editing? I don’t remember where I picked up this little gem, but my all time favorite is changing the page size and font.

You know how raking leaves in someone else’s yard is more rewarding? Or doing someone else’s dishes, or folding someone else’s laundry, or editing someone else’s manuscript? It’s like that! When you change the page size and font, your text looks and feels like someone else’s work, and that make as HUGE difference to your brain when you’re trying to be more objective about what’s really going on in the story.

For example:
            -Paper size goes from 8.5x11 to 6x9  
            -Font goes from Times New Roman to Adobe Caslon or Garamond or Myriad (just make sure the font stays easy on the eyes)
            -Font size goes from 12 to 11
            -Spacing goes from double to 1.5

It’s not a huge technical difference, but it’s enough to force you to read what’s really there, instead of what you remember typing.

By the way, this isn’t a one-time thing and it’s not an exact science. I pick something new EVERY time I want to pretend I have fresh eyes. :-)  (Just don’t forget to shift it all back into the more standard (or requested) format before you send it somewhere.)

We all write and edit differently—what’s your favorite tip to pass along?


  1. What a great idea! I will be using your tip right away, for sure! Thanks!

  2. You're welcome! I love it. It such an instant way to change the perspective on your own work. :-)

  3. Thanks for this! I am revising right now, so I'm definitely going to try this out. Gotta love some neat tips & tricks! =)

  4. Well, that's interesting. I never thought about a font change.
    I use a text-to-speech, because hearing it helps.


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