Monday, July 26, 2010

A Revision Tip

I recently finished writing my second novel, a middle grade about a girl with ADHD who takes up taekwondo. (I have a slightly longer, more eloquent one sentence summary but that’s it in a nutshell!) One of my favorite parts about finishing any project is printing it out. Hitting “Print” is like giving myself a present and I get all giddy. The pages are unwrinkled, the text nice and crisp when it falls into the printer’s tray. Everything is so full of promise. Ahh….

Oops. Sorry. Got distracted just thinking about it.

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite revising tips: print your pages so they look like a real book by turning your page setup to landscape and putting your text, single-spaced, into two columns. It’s amazing how much having your text appear like book pages helps you to read, well, like a first time reader. Not only do grammar errors jump out at you, but holes and slow spots in the plot as well as over-used words are easier to see. (“Hi, my name is Carmella and I overuse the word ‘that.’”) Printing your pages this way can also show you were you have too much dialog - or not enough - and if your chapters are an uniformed or varied length.

Have fun printing!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is a great tip. It's better than using that full screen reading option. Thanks Carmella:)

  3. That's a great idea, Car. I do print it out single spaced for reading, and reduce the margins to try to save a little paper (doesn't make much difference). I also usually put it in one of my kids old duotangs from school so it's more like a book. But I like your idea of sizing the pages to be book-like.

  4. I think this is a fantastic tip--I'm a more visual person and I think all kinds of errors would jump out at me this way that I wouldn't see in my regular drafts. Thanks for the idea :-)

  5. I really like your idea. It's true how it looks so different on paper but I like your paper saving idea.

  6. Great tip and timely. Now I just need to get some fresh ink for the printer.


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