Printing out your drafts

Have any of you ever printed out your manuscript and took a pen to it, the old fashioned way? I was suggested to do this, and by suggest I mean emphatically insist, in that it would make me see the whole book with fresh eyes. Does it actually help or work? I've been hitting a brick wall lately, but I don't know how much of it has to do with the story and how much has to do with general life/health issues. I'm hesitant to waste the paper and ink to print out the entire 500 pages, but it's been so difficult to improve my manuscript further (maybe I'm still too close to it?) I'm open to new techniques.

To get the grammar, I've heard that reading it backwards helps, and for content editing, waiting several months and then reading it can help.

Yeah - basically things your eyes stopped noticing (i.e., even silly repeat words or bad commas) do suddenly become obvious after some time off.

Not sure if you want to spend the time/money to do it but if you upload your Word document into createspace you can create a proof and never have to actually complete the transition to the final copy. The total cost for my proof (nearly 500 pages) was probably 10 dollars or less with shipping. It still was cheaper than going to Office Max to print off and bind the document for me. The final product from Createspace was much lighter as a collated draft than the brick I brought home from the store.

The downside for me is that bringing changes back from hard copy to digital is yet another step I have to take (versus directly editing on screen). It's one reason I have stalled on putting out a hard copy. That and it's hard to juggle editing and writing.

Do an internet search for the font "DP Custom Mono 2." it is a font that was apparently designed to make editing easier--it looks weird and forces you to slow down when you're reading, so you catch more. When I remember to use it, it really does help...

I've done it, but I don't know that I'd do it again, mainly because of the extra step problem that SgL mentions. Not that it's a bad idea, because I did find it helpful, but my time is so limited that adding an extra step to my process is problematic. If you have more time in general, it may work well for you. Others above have a number of good suggestions, and I'll second the time away one that Alex mentions, because I tried that as well and found that it worked. Good luck with your editing!


Super: Sci-fi/Suspense/Adventure, with Superheroes

SgL you have good tips with that Createspace thing, tho! I'll keep it in mind if I decide to take the plunge and print it all out.

I do print copies occasionally (it helped that for a while I was first in or last out at work, and just ran off a hundred pages at a time on the printer). You do really spot a bunch of things that you don't see on the screen.

Next step will be a Createspace version, but I want to wait till I have a full wraparound cover before testing that, so I'm killing two birds with one stone.

My wife printed me a copy using LuLu (which is pretty much createspace) for Christmas, rather than as an editing tool. I dread to actually read it and find loads of typos in print - but it was surprisingly cheap to do.