Discover more from Erica Drayton Writes
Lunar Awards Submission Part II
All the Edits to get it "just right"
Announcement! Announcement! ANNOUNCEMENT!
Now here this!
I have finished writing my THIRD short story for Friday Fiction and you shall receive it in your inbox this Friday. YAY! However, before that happens, there have been multiple rounds of editing and there are still more to go. I’m putting this one through my pre-publishing (in a book for sale) paces because it’s up for consideration in the inauguralwhich conclude on April 19th.
A few stats for your consideration to show exactly what each stage of my editing accomplishes:
Vomit Draft Word Count (zero edits done):
1st Draft Word Count (PWA edits):
2nd Draft Word Count (red pen edits): TBA
Final Draft Word Count (read aloud edits): TBA
I will update the final two drafts word counts on Friday, April 14th.
WHY VOMIT DRAFT?
Some writers will call this their “rough draft” and that’s perfectly fine. I use the word “vomit” because ever since I heard my wife use it in the context of her screenplay writing I realized it was the perfect word for me. It helps me not get too hung up with the fact that my “rough draft” is just that…rough. But that just isn’t as in your face and true as a word like vomit can be. It puts me in mind to the fact that I will vomit words onto a page that I wouldn’t dare show a soul. It’s gross and smelly and just unpleasant.
That unpleasantness will become less and less unpleasant with every edit round I put my work through. But, at the end of the day, even after I’ve edited the crap out of it and someone else has done the same, there will always be something left behind that someone somewhere will find gross and smelly and unpleasant. Because I can’t please everyone! Oh, yes, vomit fits perfectly for me. And if you like, I recommend using it yourself. And always remember, as long as you get it to a point where it’s pleasant for you and palatable for you, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
WHAT IS PWA?
Disclaimer: ProWritingAid is expensive. Like, really expensive. If you can afford it, I highly recommend paying the lifetime option vs the annual price. It’s a great program to use to put your writing through paces of editing and helping you identify where your biggest grammatical issues are. I would never use this as a replacement for human editing, however, as a first step I recommend it if you can afford it. Otherwise, using Google Docs or Microsoft Word’s internal editor is fine. The one thing I wouldn’t recommend is Grammarly. If you can afford that exorbitant amount on a monthly basis, save your money up and get PWA.
I use it to check my tenses and POV as I know those are areas where I am the most weakest when it comes to my writing.
RED PEN AND READ ALOUD EDITS
These two steps are my absolute favorite. I could probably combine these two steps and read aloud my printed copy while holding a red pen but I don’t because you can catch errors in pacing and style better when editing in as many different conditions as possible.
In PWA I’m editing my work in their program which looks and behaves differently than where I originally did my initial writing. Then I print it out to have my work in my hands, on a page. This view allows me to see my story in another condition that will point out things I might have missed in any other circumstance. This also tends to be the most editing and straight up changes that happen in my story. It’s a red pen edit simply for the color. The red will stand out most when I’m needing to take my notes and type them into the story. I can get carried away on this step so I try to limit myself as best I can. In the past I would need to pull out a blank white paper to write entire scenes on! I won’t be doing that here.
When I then apply my red pen edits and change up to read aloud, it’s not on my computer monitor. Instead, I will take my story, turn it into an ebook file and read it on my phone or my tablet. It’s simple for me to make it into an ebook as I use Vellum (a Mac only software) that does all the heavy lifting with just a few clicks. Again, the conditions with which I am viewing my story is different again. I read it aloud because when you read something in your head your brain will (unintentionally) make corrections as you’re reading. To catch when this happens it’s best to read your work out loud. But stay close to your computer and have your manuscript open, ready to make those changes you catch while reading. Stand up and move around as you read if you want.
If I had to choose one of these steps over the other to do, I would always recommend reading aloud. You’ll catch so much you missed by just doing this process.
Just a reminder that, when I can, I stream myself writing these stories and other things, on my Twitch channel. If you are so inclined, I’d love a follow. Or just stop on by to say HI and ask me any writing-related questions you like. I’m a firm believer in working-in-public. It’s a great motivator and a way to stay accountable (for me).