Thursday, September 25, 2014

End to Beginning Editing

One option to attempt when editing a novel is to start at the end of the novel and work backwords. You don't have to do it one word at a time, that might be a tad tedious, but to catch some of the small, easy to miss errors, it helps to do it one sentence at a time from the very end of the novel to the beginning.

I did this in my last edit. It took a fair amount of time, since it's monotonous and difficult but it had many benefits.

Benefits of the end-beginning edit:
Easier to focus on the individual sentences.
Not as easy to get caught up reading.
Focuses more on the technical side and not the overall story.
See the words and not what you think is there.

Time consuming.
Not for general story fixes, character development, and such.
Focuses on the very small errors.

This isn't a method for many, but it's a nice option. This and maybe using a speech program to hear the sentences instead of just reading them off the page.  There are many different edit options to help writers get a clean as possible draft ready for submission or publication.

Have you tried this?
Would you?
How do you edit?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Forming Habits

While this is often a topic that pops up more in January, I thought it would be a good time to discuss forming habits (both writing and others). Part of my goals for right now are to form healthier habits along with trying to write, edit and read on a regular basis. I posted about some of it a couple of months ago: and I'm still trying to find the right balance (which will go out the window for November but other than that, balance is helpful).

Often times, the hardest part of habit forming is to keep going. It's like New Year's resolutions because the first couple of weeks there is the excitement, but eventually it wears off and one then must find other forces to help persevere until it becomes second nature. Most habits take time to change, whether it's quitting bad ones or starting new ones, it's a challenge. And not everyone is the same. Some can quit cold turkey and others need more gradual, assisted approaches for quitting. Others need lots of encouragement to start up and keep going while some can switch at a faster pace while still feeling in tune despite changes made. Like writing methods, habit forming will vary too.

Here is an interesting article on  the time it takes to form a new habit:

One thing I've found that helps make habit forming fun is a gaming orientated web site called HabitRPG. Check it out at and see if it's something that might work for you. It's kind of fun with the different levels, the little animals and other incentive/punishments to keep one on track.

I have 2 daily goals right now. Read and write. The rest of my habits and goals are divided between the habits option and to-do checklists. My habits vary from submitting stories and posting blog entries to eating veggies and drinking water. My to-do lists have things like read a book, write chapter 23, submit 5 short stories and research. Soon they will have world building ones too in order to get ready for NaNoWriMo.

It's fun for me, so far. I like getting points and such for doing things like having a glass of water. And the to-do lists gets you lots of points and such if you took a while to do it, there is a checklist and such. I'm also in a group so we can fight little monsters and win prizes. Seems like a really fun way to get things done.

Are there any habits you are trying to form?
What habits do you have right now?

Check out habitrpg and let me know what you think if you do. :-)