Editing, Scrivner and Backing Up Your Work

The word for today is edit. I’m in the midst of the first of two editing passes I have to make. This one is for mechanics like spelling, punctuation, grammar and the like. This one is difficult because I have to focus on the details and try not to read the story so I don’t miss something by reading what should be there instead of what is there. It is a task that requires discipline because it is not part of the creative process which I enjoy so much. It is, in a word, tedious.

The next editing pass is much more enjoyable because this is the one during which I actually read the book and make changes based upon story flow, word choice and continuity. This is fun because I can never read something I’ve written without tweaking it a bit. Also I haven’t even looked at parts of this manuscript in months. That gives me a fresh take on things because they’ve been out of my mind for a while.

At the end of the day I had gotten eight chapters edited for mechanics and a couple of little content edits because I couldn’t help myself. I’m using an awesome software package called Scrivner from the fine folks at Literature and Latte to do my work. It’s not that pricy and it’s fantastic for writing. I did have one small issue of my own making while editing yesterday. I accidentally moved a chapter. I was looking at a layout of the chapters and I’m using a laptop and the buttons are always jumpy on laptops it seems. This moved a chapter. I had a moment of panic then I realized how easy it is to reorganize a book in Scrivner. It took me a couple minutes to double check the proper order for all of the chapters, then no time at all to make it right. Thankfully I had a saved copy in a word document to check against.

I cannot stress it enough to have a back up of your work, preferably on another computer or flash drive or the Cloud, somewhere. As you may know my laptop died, like really gave it up just after Christmas. It would have been a disaster except I had backed up my manuscript just the day before that happened.