Every writer has a different method when it comes to editing their WIP. Some writers insist on printing pages. Though, I have found Kindle to be a great tool that can help during revisions. How can Kindle be a great asset to the editing process?
First off, let’s answer the bigger question: Why is it important for a writer to get better at editing their own manuscript?
Editing Your Manuscript & Best Practices
When it comes to best editing practices, it’s not enough to say that you’ll hire an editor to fix everything. Editors are human and neither do they always catch everything, nor should they fix bad writing, unless you’re hiring a ghostwriter to do it for you. It’s important to try and learn how to find most of the mistakes yourself. I’m not just talking about stuff on a line level. Editing goes beyond grammar. In my opinion, a professional editor should be the final last step in the revision process.
Getting better at your craft means that you spend the extra time knowing how to DIY the clean-up process when fine-tuning your manuscript. I honestly feel that it makes you a better writer when you can learn how to objectively edit your own work. Writing, after all, is more than working the right brain. It requires collaborating with the left sphere as well. And these days, many writers no longer print out copies. In the past, printing out work has helped me catch revisable sections that I wasn’t able to see while staring at a computer screen.
Then I discovered how to use Kindle to maximize the editing process, and my printing days are now behind me.
How To Use Kindle To Edit Your #WIP
Suppose you’re looking to read your manuscript in an objective way and also make it easier for you to carry it along with you. In that case, investing in a Kindle is the way to go. Yes, you can use a Kindle app on your phone for free and without purchasing a Kindle. But, after receiving the Kindle Paperwhite version for my birthday, I found it to be a lot easier than the free app because the screen is bigger than your smartphone. It’s also easier to make notes directly on the Kindle. And no, I do not work for Amazon. The Kindle is a suggestion based on how effective it was for me in terms of helping me edit my WIP.
- Upload Your Manuscript: Again, you can try this for free via the Kindle app on your phone. I briefly tried it on my phone and didn’t like it so much. Mainly because the smartphone screen is too small. If you have a Kindle, you can upload your manuscript as a Word Doc by utilizing the Kindle uploader tool. The Kindle uploader can be directly downloaded onto your laptop or computer. I have a Mac, and I believe Kindle has the app available for your PC as well.
- Read Your Manuscript: Reading your manuscript all the way through may feel like a passive action. But, it’s essential. Some writers still print out their manuscripts to edit because they need an objective way to read their manuscripts. The Kindle honestly reads just like you printed the pages. It literally has the exact same effect. So, why kill a bunch of trees when you can read your #WIP on a Kindle? I was very apprehensive about turning to a Kindle to read. I got so used to hard copy vs. digital books. But, now I love ebooks and am currently e-reading Billy Summers by Stephen King. Getting used to reading your favorite authors on your favorite e-readers can help train your eyes to catch stuff in your own work.
- Make Notes On Kindle: Yes, you can make notes to yourself directly on the Kindle. It’s a great way to get through manuscripts and read them as if it’s already published. A great feature is that the Kindle will format your Word Doc into a book format. You do need to make sure that everything is formatted correctly in your Word Doc before uploading it. After you upload, spend the time to read through it and make notes to yourself. I have caught hundreds of stuff on the Kindle that, for some reason, I wasn’t able to catch reading it on my laptop. I love the Kindle because I can lay down in my bed at night, go for a walk down at the beach, and take my Kindle. I’ve made over 700 notes to myself doing this!
- Start Editing Your Manuscript: Once you’re done with reading your manuscript all the way through and making notes, you’ll be shocked by how the notes can add up. Like I said, I’ve made over 700 notes to myself. This is after numerous beta readers and pro editors have gone through it. I now make sure I read my manuscript all the way through multiple times on a Kindle before hiring an editor for the final polish. Kindle doesn’t have the ability to export your note. That’s the only downfall. So, in order to use your notes, you need to simply have your Kindle open and simultaneously have your WIP available on your laptop. It’s so easy, though. Think about it. You’d need to do the same thing if you marked up a hard copy of your manuscript. You simply refer to the note you made to yourself on Kindle and do a word search on your WIP via your laptop to find the section that needs correcting. Repeat this process for the entire manuscript. Kindle does have a way to show you a list of your notes.
The Bottom Line
In today’s twenty-first-century digital age, printing pages may not be necessary when you’re at the editing stages. With the ability to make digital notes to yourself and do a word search, you no longer need to print out 400 pages and edit the old-fashion way. Whatever your editing method is, at some point you’ll need to read your manuscript cover to cover. It’s honestly the best way to catch slow areas, dialogue that’s stiff, repetitive words, inconsistencies, and so much more. Why not make your life easier by uploading your manuscript on Kindle, take it with you wherever you go, and read it that way?
If you haven’t already done this, try it. It can make a big difference and potentially save you a lot of time. After all, time is a valuable resource we can never get back once it’s gone.