Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Kindle as Edit Tool

It's been several months since I've read Twinned Universes (the new title for Across Two Universes), so I decided it was time for a read-through. In the past, I would have printed out the manuscript, using up most of a ream of paper which I'd have to fasten together with the biggest clips I could find. Then I'd have to carry the paper with me while reading and making notes in the margins. This time, I uploaded my file to my Kindle. If you'd like to learn how to do that, Amazon has detailed instructions on their website. (I could describe the steps I took, but I don't think they were the most accurate way to do it.) Although some of the formatting, such as paragraph indentations, was lost during the transfer, other aspects, such as italics, were available on the Kindle.

It was much easier to carry my Kindle around with me than half a ream of paper, and I was able to make notes in the file as I read. Most of these were short notes telling me to delete a filler word like "just" or "even." In some places, I wrote "change" when I wasn't satisfied with the wording. For some reason, these notes didn't always end up next to the word I wanted to delete or change, so I had to use context to figure out what I'd had in mind when making the note. I lost count of how many notes I made, but I think there were over 150. There is a way to view the list of notes, but I'm going through the entire document again so I have a better context for the notes.

Despite some of the drawbacks of editing on the Kindle, I found it a useful way to help me read my novel with fresh eyes and edit it afterward. I recommend this approach to anyone who has a Kindle or an e-reader with similar options.

7 comments:

Trisha Leaver said...

hmm . . . using my Kindle for editing. The idea never even crossed my mind. I generally edit on the same laptop I write on, saving multiple, revised versions of the ms to a thumb drive. But I can certainly see the benefit of using the Kindle from the portability aspect.

Anna Zagar said...

So weird! I just did the same thing! I didn't use the notes function as I read through my MS--my Kindle cover has a penholder and a pocket for a notepad, so I took notes that way, but it helped tremendously. When I usually edit I stop and edit right then, which can stop productivity. But giving it a read-through on the kindle helped tremendously! Plus, if you take your kindle wherever you go, you could get in extra edit time in a waiting room or while sitting in traffic. Very helpful.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I didn't know it had that feature.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Trisha--The portability helps, but it's also good to be reading the story in a different way than on the computer. The new setting helps me look at the story with fresh eyes.

Anna--I remember Nathan Bransford reading manuscripts on his reader, so I think that's where I got the idea. Great minds think alike, after all! ;)

Diane--It's always good to find new, useful features of something isn't it? Do you have a Kindle?

Liz said...

That's one of the major reasons I wanted an eReader. I haven't done it yet, though. I'm still working on rewriting, but when it's editing time...

lbdiamond said...

Oooh, interesting!

Maria Zannini said...

I'm reading one of my drafts on the Nook. Very cool.

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