Thursday, May 17, 2007

post-its and editing

I just received the copyedit for GOD and I have to say I don't know how I ever lived without Post-its.
Here's what works amazingly well for me:

I read through the entire manuscript, and if I can't make a decision in 60 seconds on a copyeditor's question or something I think needs to be tweaked I slap down a post-it and move on. Once the manuscript is done it might contain 150 Post-its. The second time through I just read the flagged stuff. This allows me to completely focus on the problem. I can usually make a decision in less than a minute, and am able to remove the sticker. If not, I leave it and by the time I'm finished with that round I usually have around 20 Post-its left. Repeat the previous trick and that usually takes care of them all. I've used this method for the last three books and I'm still amazed by how well it works.

I've also had this copyeditor before and she's excellent. With some copyeditors you might spend a lot of time trying to decide if something is worth fighting for, but there's none of that going on here, which makes the process pretty painless.

oh, I've added a link to the previous post in case anybody wants to watch the video about the little pop-up trailers.

23 comments:

Stephen Blackmoore said...

What an awesome idea. I'll have to try that.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Too bad you can't copyright your idea Anne, and make money off it. Thanks for sharing.

anne frasier said...

are you guys teasing me?? ;) my post-it post seems a little like sharing how i clean my kitchen sink or something. :D

Mary Louisa said...

But it is a BRILLIANT way to clean the kitchen sink. Thanks for the tip!

Darwyn Jones said...

What I appreciate about your post is that it removes the mystique. There isn't some magical element that only those with the right powers can achieve. No. Editing is a nuts-and-bolts process. We find what works for us and do it.

jason evans said...

Post-its will probably unseat duct tape one day as the miracle tool.

Glad to hear you're having a positive experience with GOD.

(My last sentence is suddenly cracking me up. I made it sound like you were half-expecting to be transformed into a pillar of salt or something equally Biblical.) :D

anne frasier said...

thanks, mary louisa! nice to see you!

darwyn, for some reason i really like the visual and tactile aspects of the stickers. there's something fun about it. and the way they give me the freedom to shut off most of the manuscript in order to focus on one small area/element at a time. thanks for stopping by!

jason, LOL! i read your post 30 minutes ago and am still laughing about it. your comment also sounded a bit sexy in a carmelite nun kind of way.

angie said...

As soon as you can get rid of a wart with a post-it, duct tape will be de-throned. Until then...

I love it when you share your kitchen sink processes. And it really is a great, simple way to deal with manuscript issues. Ooh, look, I just wrote a note to myself to remember this. On a post-it, 'o course!

Bernita said...

Brilliantly practical.
Thank you.

norby said...

Post-its (or stickys, as I call them) are the most brilliant invention in the world. I use them in my cooking magazines to mark recipes that look interesting. Then when I finally get around to adding things to cookbook later I don't have to flip through them trying to remember which ones I liked.

Oh yeah, your copyediting thing sounds good too, you know, for writers.

That RV video cracks me up-using old men to demo the setup may not have been a good idea. And everyone knows Indiana is the RV capital of the US, how serious are these people if they're in Oregon? But the units did look pretty roomy.

anne frasier said...

angie -- wait. duct tape gets rid of warts???? where have i been???

thanks, bernita!

norby, thanks for mentioning stickys. i was thinking i should have said flags or something else, because i don't use the square post-its. i didn't even notice the old men in the video. haha! i was thinking i still wouldn't be able to put the walls up, but maybe if an old fart can do it so can i. :D

Jude said...

Yes post its... and highlighters. Love 'em. As for copy editors, I guess there are some you love and some you could do without.

norby said...

Anne, I do what I can to educate America on the slang of office supplies.

How can you not know about duct tape and warts? You need to watch more television girl.

angie said...

Yep, duct tape gets rid of warts.

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030201/tips/8.html

And i love the pop-ups, but where's the damn toilet?!

norby said...

Um, well, if you're at a campground they'll have one. Otherwise, it's called getting close to nature.

Besides, pop-ups are for wimps anyway. I used to go camping in a teepee with my uncle and cousin.

anne frasier said...

jude, yes, highlighters too. i go through quite few of them, but they don't work as well with the new gel pens.

norby, haha! my TV viewing has fallen close to zero! and now that i'm moving and plan to use rabbit ears i'm sensing a less than zero in my future. i might have to break down and order basic cable.

i do wonder if a tent would be much better. i used to camp, but my secret was to get wasted and pass out so i didn't care how hard the ground was. that just doesn't seem appealing anymore. :D

angie, my -- let's just say a family member -- has a small RV that I call the poop mobile. I don't want one of those.

norby said...

Tents are horrible. In the teepee we had a rope bed and fur skins to sleep one, much more comfortable than the ground.

The poop mobile? I don't want to know.

anne frasier said...

norby, that sounds like a spa. :D

M. G. Tarquini said...

You're copyediting GOD!?!

(Somebody had to say it. May as well have been me.)

Heather Harper said...

I was going to talk about post-its...but I was distracted by the Angie's warts.

When I was a kid, I would get small warts on my hands, especially around my fingers. They tried freezing them off, burning them off, wart-remover-in- a bottling them off. None of the above worked for me.

You know what did? An electric finger nail file. I filed the little effers off and they never came back.

Anyhoo, I was wondering if anyone has ever used Writers Blocks software? Looks like little post its on your computer screen.

http://www.writersblocks.com/wb3quotes.htm

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hey, are you okay? Miss your voice.

anne frasier said...

mindy, somebody has to make sure the words of god are obsolutely clear.

heather, i haven't tried the software, but i seem to recall biting off a wart when i was little. hey, i said i was little!

patti, thanks! i'm still getting settled, but i hope things slow down soon!

anne frasier said...

damn. wish we could edit. :D