Sunday, July 8, 2012

Two Super-Useful Editing Tools

This is the realm of hand-edits, pencil and pen.

I hope this post will offer you two new tools for giving swift and effective feedback

Tool 1: Renumbering

Something's off about the logic or flow of a sentence, paragraph or scene. You don't know what. It may not need a full re-write. It may just need renumbering. I'll offer an example at the sentence level.

Sentence Level:

Original sentence: She removed her jacket and beanie, scrubbing at the itch of dried scalp sweat, and approached the register.
My CP's note in the margin read: "Blocking: Where's her sketch pad now? The clerk comments on it later...")

Reordered sentence:
She approached the register, putting her sketch pad on the counter, removed her jacket and beanie, and scrubbed at the itch of dried scalp sweat underneath. 

How awesome is this tool? 

The fact that you can use it at multiple levels makes it super-handy. I've once had a renumbered scene that went from 1 to 20 and included paragraph renumberings of A, B, and C. Try it! I bet you'll love it. 

Tool 2: Hearts (or "showing the love")

This tool is for stuff that gives you goosebumps, or makes you LOL, or makes you sigh, etc. It's an easy and enjoyable way to give honest, positive feedback.

It's kinda self-explanatory.

Show the LOVE! It's easy!  =D


Side note, my poor car got squashed yesterday... Disaster seems to be in the stars...


  1. Those are both good tips! I especially like the sentence reorder. I am big on flow, so I feel you there.

    Sorry about your car! Hope you get it all fixed up soon.

    1. The reorder takes a try or two to get the hang of it, but after that, it's pure brilliance! I watched my CP do for months on my work, mind boggled by her ability to see the text like code and rearrange. When I tried it, I found it pretty intuitive...

  2. Ohh, what a sad, sad looking car :( I hope everything's alright!

    I absolutely love those two tools, especially the hearts!! =D

    1. Me too! Love the hearts :) On a page piled with red ink, one little heart will buoy me.

  3. Sad car. I wish I had the hearts tools for code reviews... I can hack it by adding a comment that just says "<3" but that might be ambiguous.

    1. I do <3 with Word comments or even right in the text, but it's not the same as being able to heart things great and small.

  4. Thanks, Lora. I'll have to remember the renumbering tip. As for the hearts, seeing as I'm a dude, I've got to use something, um...drawing buffalo wings or biker helmets... That's macho, right?

  5. These are great I will have to use them, and sorry about your poor car :( .