Author: Anne Rainbow

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Step 9 of the Red Pen Editing cycle is to drill down. When you are relatively happy that you’ve fixed the major things – you have balance and structure, you have the right tense and voice, you've worked on dodgy patches, there are no more tasks on your list - it’s time to drill down. How often you drill down is up to you. It's essential before moving on to Step 10:...

Step 7 of the Red Pen Editing cycle is to check structure and balance. The standard structure for a story is beginning / middle / end. Where one ends and the next starts is important. Within each, you'll have paragraphs and, within those, sentences. Paragraphs need to be not too short and not too long. Sentences: ditto. And you need transitions to take the reader from one to the next ...

As we progress through the steps of the Red Pen Editing cycle, we are gathering more and more editing tasks that will need addressing once we reach step 8: 'Time to use the red pen!' We have a way to go yet - and steps 5 and 6 may result is our having to do some major redrafting. So, what are we worrying about at this stage of the Red Pen Editing...

In step 4 of my Red Pen Editing cycle, we 'Study the Content'. The red pen does not make an appearance until step 8; we are still at the thinking / reading / listening / planning stage. Ideally, you ask a friend to read the piece aloud and you listen, pretending to be your target audience, but with your mental checklist in mind: Does it start well? Do I like the title? Does the...

Editing is a systematic process: finding flaws and fixing them. In step 1-3 of my Red Pen Editing cycle, I draw attention to the need to create distance from your writing, and to be in the right frame of mind, before you even think about picking up your red pen to start editing. I also suggest, at step 8 'Time to use the red pen!', that you challenge yourself with the hardest editing...

ProWritingAid This was recommended by one of my RedPenners and it's been on my Recommendations page for some time. Within the Red Pen Editing cycle, step 9 is DRILL DOWN where, having addressed all other issues of structure, voice, tense, etc., we focus on paragraphs, sentences, words, and punctuation. It's the final sweep before sending our precious manuscript to our beta readers for feedback. Step 9 relies on our understanding of spelling, grammar, and...

Bigger the better? During the Simply Scrivener Special webinars, I share my screen so that I can demonstrate various features of Scrivener. One issue that arose early on was visibility.  Consider this view of my Safari Supper novel.  Shared across the Internet, with my attendees watching on screens of various sizes, immediately the cry went up: 'I can't read the words.' Changing the size of the text within the Scrivenings pane is easy enough. Notice...