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!