Edit Cards – Part 2

26 Sep

OK, I love this blog and I love my readers and I love the fact that most of you email/IM/PM/forum note me instead of responding here. It honestly makes me laugh!


So I had several people ask how I became “aware enough” to make my own edit cards.


Well, the cards come from a lot of different sources. I learned my editing primarily from a Laurie Brown workshop I received from an RWA Conference. You can buy them on the site.


That was the foundation for me of learning to edit.


The next stuff – and i know you’re sick of hearing it – Read Read Read Write Write Write.


This time, part of the cycle is your own stuff. Read something you adore, something that you truly wish you’d written. You know, the kind of book that you can’t believe it’s over when you get to the end. Now, go read your ms. What’s standing out? Where do you see the influences? Did it work? What can you do better? What in the book you loved made you love it? Are you doing that?


Make some cards that feed into those desires (the good and the bad!)


Next, what sentence structure do you lean toward? I was starting so many of my sentences with ‘-ing’ words that it was a mess. Not to mention an Amateur’s mistake. It felt active when I was writing my first book in Fast Draft. Now I can see the way it slows and pulls the reader out when there are too many, so that gets a card.


And it goes on like that.


For the person that asked me how I knew which words I over use, I rely on my own gut, lists of words I see other writers bemoan and scan my ms for those, and my bff, HEALaDOC– If you’re playing along at home, you know I love HEALaDOC and am constantly pushing you toward it. I’m doing it again. One of the things it does is scan your ms and put your words in order of use, starting at the highest. It actually puts the number next to it, so when you see you’ve used “only” 1,111 times – yes, its time to cut! 


So I posted a comment like an hour ago and I’ve already been emailed saying “Yes, please do an Edit Card Give Away Contest.” And so I will – but not now *smirk* But soon!


Check out Edit Cards Part 1 HERE

4 Responses to “Edit Cards – Part 2”

  1. Angeleque September 26, 2008 at 6:46 pm #


    I’ll have to check out HEALaDOC. I’m always on the lookout for new tools to add to my writing/editing arsenal. You may recall the whole CP thing. I’ve been using autocrit.com in addition to my own self-editing trials/process.

  2. briaq September 27, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    It’s definitely worth looking at!

  3. Charlotte October 5, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    Love the idea of Edit Cards. I’m currently in love with using cards for everything. As I rewrite my novel for the 5th time, I’m using cards to keep track of throughlines. Its a way to find a path through the thicket of the manuscript.


  1. My New Best Advice For Writers « Luv YA - October 30, 2008

    […] I wrote about my Edit Cards system HERE and after several questions wrote a second, clarifying blog HERE. On the encouragement of a few people, I decided to try to make the system user-friendly for people […]

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