I appeared to have stalled out on SPoE before I could finish it, so I’m flipping back to the reason for SPoE- Ziggy’s book. After taking a full year off of writing, I’m ready to revise the first of the two books. Last year I stalled out on the 3rd draft and was unable to get restarted; now I think enough time has passed to give me a fresh perspective.

Here’s my current method of attack. I’ve printed up the second draft of the entire book through lulu in a spiral-bound, full page format with plenty of room for making edits (~330 pages) . I’ll try to edit one chapter a week for 2 months (there are 8 chapters, but I’ll give 2 weeks to the first chapter). Part of my editing process will involve a set of pens that I’ll keep in a pouch along with it:

  • Black Pen – New additions, replacements
  • Red Pen – Corrections (spelling, punctuation)
  • Blue Pen – Ideas, notes, non-prose
  • Yellow Highlighter – Area that needs work
  • Green Highlighter – Area I like
  • Sharpie – Kill it with fire, I don’t wanna remember it.
  • Mech. Pencil – Overall structures, themes, constructs.

I’ll go through each chapter several times during it’s allocated week;

  1. Read-through: a personal read to reacquaint myself.
  2. Red Pen, Pencil: correcting painful errors, identifying patterns and motifs.
  3. Verbal Read-through: read aloud to identify bad structure.
  4. Yellow Highlighter, Green Highlighter,Blue Pen: marking areas I like or want to change, flesh out ideas.
  5. Black Pen, Sharpie: changes to be made, sentences that should be obliterated.

I’m hoping that a nice, even pace will keep me from burning out, and a logical set of tools will keep the process fresh. With luck, it’ll give me the drive to create a manuscript polished enough to show others. I’m hoping that breaking each chapter into five run-throughs will make it bite-size enough that I can do a little bit each night.  After I finish this process for each chapter, I’ll make the changes and create a new, third draft.

With the start of the 3rd draft, I’ll have to look at pacing and structure issues, but I’ll worry about that when I get to it.