I'm taking an online workshop through a RWA online chapter I'm a member of. Self-editing is the topic. Couldn't come at a better time, considering I need to do some major self editing on the Blaze attempt.
So...the first thing to do is to STEP AWAY FROM THE MANUSCRIPT. Recommended a few weeks but sometimes that's hard with a deadline. The only deadline I have is myself so...that part was easy. I'd already stepped away from the thing. It's been a couple of weeks. I'm ready to throw myself back at it.
Next, print it out and read it in one setting. Well, I don't wanna print it out. First off, my kids have used so much of my printer paper to draw on, I have hardly any left. And I don't feel like going to the store. So, if you can't print it out, change the font type and size on your document before you read it on the computer. It'll trick your brain into thinking you're reading something else, not that story you just poured your blood, sweat and tears all over for the last *insert amount of time it took to write the darn thing here*.
I was skeptical, to say the least. I didn't think it would matter that I changed the font type and size. But I went ahead and did it, took a deep breath and ended up only reading the first two chapters. There went the read it in one sitting. But I was too tired. And my son wanted to use the computer to play his Neo Pets game so I was like, I'm done.
But let me tell you this - that font thing worked. I used the Track Changes option on Word (thank you Shelli for explaining to me how that works!) and went crazy. I was editing like a mad woman! All kinds of things I hadn't spotted before, mostly tightening up sentences.
And I've been working on the synopsis. I have to remember this is a business, and if I want to succeed in this business, I need to take it seriously. It's not all about writing fun stories and thinking up fun story ideas. You gotta work hard at making it better and then try to sell the thing. And the selling tool is the query letter and synopsis (gulp).
Wish me luck while I spend my time in editing land.