Thursday, July 26, 2012

Me: Editing

When I get notes back from my critique partner (in a Word doc) I copy them into a text document inside of my "Critique" folder. This way I don't have to keep Word open and jump between programs while I'm editing.
My Scrivener "Binder" on the left. Critique chapters in all caps and my MS chapters above.
Critiqued chapter six on the right, with her changes in red, and her comments in purple.

When I'm ready to start going through her edits I change my revision mode to "First Revision" in Scrivener (or second, whatever the case may be) which will colour any changes I make to my MS in red. It's like "track changes" in other text programs, and it's great because I can easily see what I've changed and later, when I re-read the whole thing, decide if the change made it better or worse.
Revision Modes

So I go through, scrolling both my MS and the critique side-by-side, and consider the her comments. If it's an obvious change I make it right away, and if it's something I want to think about for a while then I highlight my text and make a comment.
My MS on the left (ch10), critiqued chapter ten in the middle, Scrivener sticky notes on the right.

By the time I've gone through all the chapters like this I've usually got a few bigger parts of the story that I'm thinking about changing, based on either my own ideas while re-reading, or my critique partner's comments. I can select my entire MS and review all the sticky notes, which gives me a clear picture of the overall changes. Then I write out plans (cuz I like a good plan) for what I want to change, where, how, and why. Those plans go in another folder in the binder, so I can refer to them the same way I referred to the critiqued document. Side-by-side and everything.
The whole binder, with my planned changes as text files under "Notes"

When I'm ready to take those notes and start making changes to my MS, I switch to Second Revision mode and start hacking and cutting larger sections of text and rewriting. I can still keep my sticky notes column up (or not) if I want to refer to those, I can pull up my notes and plans in a side-by-side window, or I can go into full screen mode and just write, ignoring everything else and just see where the story goes. I can always check and see if I stuck to the plan afterwards :)
Second Revision in blue.

So that, friends, is a quick snapshot of how I edit, and how Scrivener helps me do it. I'm sure I missed something I wanted to show you, but I have to get my ass into work!



  1. Wow, that's very helpful! I just downloaded Scrivener and I'm still figuring out how to use it to best advantage. I'm bookmarking this to refer back to.

    1. That's great! I've been using it for over a year now and I love it. Different tools for different types of writers, too. I'll have more posts in the future on using Scrivener for different stages of the writing process, so keep an eye out for those when you refer back!

  2. Cool tips!

    I bought Scrivener last year and I still have to sit down and figure it out, too!