Kelly Maher

Editing Process: Rewriting

One of my projects I’m working on is the total rewrite of a book. It’s a story I love and have lived with for at least three, and probably close to five years now in various forms. As I don’t have the space for dual monitors, this is my setup:
Photo of three-ring binder with manuscript pages inside. Binder is propped up sideways and open to inner pages of manuscript as pages were printed landscape with two manuscript pages per printed page.

This is working well for me because this is basically how I learned touch typing in high school. It’s easier for me to catch the errors in my writing, both from a copy edit point of view and from a developmental edit point of view. I knew it was working for this project, but when I was typing in the excerpt for “Homecoming” from the printed book last week, I was catching things even in that small section that if I could rewrite, I totally would. I’ve decided that from now on, part of my revision process is absolutely going to be retyping the story no matter how long the story is.

In Angela James’ “Before You Hit Send” editing workshop which I highly recommend to anyone who writes anything, she strongly advocates for reading your work aloud. Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. That is a highly useful technique and one I use. I think, for some people, you might want to also consider adding the total rewrite/type in to your editing process.

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