Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Editing on an e-reader: looove

Everyone always says you have to print out your manuscript to properly edit it. I always thought this was a waste of paper. I’ve printed it out a few times over itslife, but usually to thrust at other people who don’t like reading on a screen. They’re the same words, so how can printing it out make a difference?

Oh I was wrong.

Okay, so I’m not exactly printing it out. I got a little Sony Reader for Christmas, and proceeded to buy a book every five days. Then I went to the library in an attempt to stop myself from buying everything (I’m trying to save money, here) and ended up chain-reading. Not good. I also downloaded things like Crime and Punishment and stuck them on my reader, in the vain expectation that I might someday read them. Then the reader languished in my bag for a few days.

But then I started a new round of edits. I put my manuscript on the reader, took my stylus and started making notes.

And I have to say, it is awesome. I don’t know why, but I pick up so much more when I’m reading it on an e-reader than on a computer screen. I see story and character arcs a whole lot better. I find typos. I decide I really don’t like the entire last third and want to rewrite it.

Well, I’ll sit on that for a few days. I’m sure it’s not as bad as I think.

But apart from inspiring me to major rewrites, it’s been a whole lot easier to edit. I can do it on the bus or on the street, and I think it’s faster. You can’t get caught up in rewriting things, so you don’t get sidetracked.

There are a few things I would improve on. First, writing/drawing has a bit of a lag time on the Sony Reader, which takes a while to get used to. Second, the page turn immediately after writing something takes about five seconds. Otherwise I like it.

Does anyone have any theories about why (e-)paper is easier to edit on? How do you edit?

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