Thursday, May 20, 2010
Paper or PC?
I was talking to a friend, a fellow writer, about the different methods she uses when editing. I've learned that no matter how diligent I think I have been, no matter how closely I am sure I've read and re-read the new text, I'm unable to effectively (without mistakes) edit on my laptop. This makes me sad because my shiny, silver MacBook Pro is a haven for fancy editing-type paraphernalia and programs all just waiting for me to use them the way they were meant to be.
I have to print out a copy of the chapter or passage that I'm working on, take my trusty mechanical pencil in hand and start marking. If I try to make my edits in Word or Scrivener without paper assistance, mistakes abound. Not just tiny typos--big giant WTF could that sentence possibly mean type errors. I find it a strange quirk because I can write spreadsheets, insert formulas, check and double check the authenticity of the data and all without having to print a hardcopy. Why, doesn't this perk/talent/quirk transfer to the written word? Is it a 'numbers versus verse' anomaly?
I try to be as green as the next person by recycling paper or re-using the edited chapters as scratch paper for the kids math homework, but I get the feeling that many many trees might have to sacrifice themselves for my cause. Sorry, can't help myself. Wish things were different.
What is the most effective way for you to edit? On paper or via your computer? A combination perhaps?
I'm sure that this Nike commercial featuring Roger Federer is not new, but I only just found it and find it hilarious:
I'm sure that many of us aspiring writers feel just the same way as Roger's "coach" (love that guy from Flight of the Conchords) when we think of or encounter the masters in our genre.