Editing: Computer or Paper?

That is the question. #writetip

If you are editing your own work, I think it depends on where you are in the writing process.

If someone else it editing your work, I think it depends on what they prefer.

If you are editing someone else’s work, I think it depends on how they like to receive feedback.

So . . .

Editing your own work:

Early in the process, I like to edit on paper. I use the blank space for story ideas, for writing whole new scenes, and for research ideas. The flow of the pen feels good in my hand.

Late in the process, I like to edit on the computer. This is when I am checking grammar, format, repeated words, etc. All things that are easier to search for and do global changes on if you are working on your computer.

Someone else editing your work:

I like to ask what my reader prefers. Some think better if they can write on paper. I’ve had readers comment on a kindle copy. Others like software. Whatever they want is fine with me. If they are willing to comment on my novel, I’m happy to get the comments in any form.

Editing someone else’s work:

I decide this based on what the author prefers. Sometimes geography dictates how.

Do you have any preference for editing?


4 thoughts on “Editing: Computer or Paper?

  1. I love to edit on paper. I like having all the pages in front of me at once, and the ability to cut (with scissors if necessary) and paste (glue or tape!) and write on the backs of the pages. It feels very much like a collage to me, or like putting together a piece of music with the various melodies and choruses weaving together.
    Obviously, this would never work for anyone else’s manuscript! For those, I critique in-line on the Word doc, with comments afterwards. 🙂


    1. It would be interesting to actually cut up someone else’s manuscript. You might cause a few heart palpitations – and not in a good way. I’ve never been able to use the paper cutting method. I travel too much and can’t keep it organized.


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