Writing Tips

5(ish) Ways to Make Editing More Fun

To state the obvious: editing is not fun.

I recently began editing my NaNoWriMo manuscript. It’s a lot of work, y’all. Because more effort has to go into editing and proofreading than into actual writing: we need to patch up plot holes (or, in my case, actually create a plot!), define our characters, cut tons of filler, and rewrite till our fingers bleed.

And I’ve hardly even started.

So there’s got to be a way to make this process fun, right? Yes! That’s exactly what we’re talking about today: making your editing experience a good one.

Ready? Set? Go!

5(ish) Ways to Make Editing Fun

1. Don’t sweat it.

Writing, in general, can be a stress pit. But only if you decide it is.

So don’t sweat it, okay? It’s perfectly normal to be nervous, or even anxious, just don’t let it steer you away from your mission. (In case it was unclear: your mission is to finish your manuscript.)

(Pictured: my sweaty and overwhelmed self, with my freshly-printed manuscript. I got over that overwhelmed-ness after a while. 😉 )

2. Jam out to music while you work . . . or don’t.

Some people can focus better with their music blasting. Others, not so much. I’ve somehow managed to be both. So it all depends on your personal preference.

3. Use colorful pens.

Hear me out on this one.

I love organization. I mean, I really love it. When I first moved to east Tennessee, I organized my closet by color. My heart leaps when I buy a new book, because I get the joy of figuring out where on my alphabetized bookshelf it belongs.

If you’re like me, then maybe using colorful pens for your editing will help you make it fun. Here’s what I mean: when you’re changing something in the manuscript, use a different color depending on the action. Example:

RED: delete
GREEN: add
BLUE: rewrite
YELLOW: clarify/simplify

Just be sure to keep a key on hand, so you don’t forget which color means what.

4. Keep snacks/drinks handy.

I keep a can of peanuts on my desk. While I don’t often eat anything besides that in my room, I always bring a drink when I’m about to work. It’s usually coffee; occasionally I’ll grab a seltzer water or leftover soda, though.

It’s oddly motivational just to have a snack or drink with you. And the added bonus of caffeinated drinks and water is that it will keep you focused. Win-win!

(Pictured: my literary quotes coffee mug and a pumpkin cake roll.)

5. Celebrate little victories.

I survived to chapter four! Hooray!

6. Use . . . uh, whatever these are called.

What’s more fun than emoji page markers?!

I’m not telling you to go scouring the store looking for these specific items; these are only some things I got for Christmas and finally get the chance of using. But something along the lines of these is sure to keep your spirits up.

(Pictured: emoji stickers (left) and paw print page markers. The latter are fantastic, I highly recommend them – not only are they adorable, they’re magnetic, so they stick right to the page! So they work fabulously as bookmarks and paperclips.)

So there you go! Have anything to add? Please tell us! 🙂 I love hearing your thoughts!

As always:


4 thoughts on “5(ish) Ways to Make Editing More Fun

  1. Hi Sam,
    Whenever I’m writing, since I’m writing in first person, I only capitalize the main character’s names for mom and dad. For example, (I told Mom that I would be back soon.) Now, my question is, should I capitalize mom if it’s another character talking about their mom or dad? Because it’s their mom? For example, another character’s talking, (I really need to ask Mom for help about this question.)
    I feel like I’ve seen that before in books, but I can’t remember. Thanks! 🙂 I’m really enjoying your blog! It’s really helpful! 🙂

    1. Hey, Aynsley! The way I do it, if someone is referring to their mom or dad directly, I capitalize it; i.e. “Mom is coming later.” But if it’s indirect, I don’t capitalize it: “My mom is coming later.” So regardless of whether it’s the narration or another character speaking, if they are directly referring to/speaking to their mom, I capitalize; if not, I don’t. Does that make sense? 🙂 Thank you for the positive feedback!

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