Forums Club Ed Editors’ Forum How do you like to read manuscripts?

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    • #68608
      Jake Nicholls

      Hello everyone!

      I was wondering how you all go about doing an initial read-through of a manuscript before you start editing, in practical terms – e.g. do you read it on the computer, use an e-reader, print it out and read it on paper?

      I struggle to focus when reading long documents on a computer screen and much prefer to print something out and read it on paper if I can. This is a little unwieldy when it comes to reading whole manuscripts, however! Plus, it doesn’t allow for correcting any spelling errors or highlighting things without having to go back and do it again later at the computer.

      If you do read on-screen, do you have any tips re: making it easier on the eyes and helping to maintain concentration?

      I’m interested to find out about all the different methods people have!


    • #68693
      Jennifer Lawler

      Often I am fine just reading from the computer screen and correcting obvious typos and other egregious errors as I go along, but I occasionally have a tendency to try to do too much editing on the first read-through. I’ll get bogged down in trying to solve problems when I don’t have the full story arc in mind. Which is so counter-productive! So, when that happens, I upload the doc to my Kindle, which keeps me focused because I can’t start tinkering with the text. I do keep notes in a notebook (“Chapter 3: Whaaa? Who are all these people?”) as I go but that distracts me less because I’m not actually in the ms trying to form queries and such.

      • #70602
        Jake Nicholls

        Ah, that’s another angle I hadn’t thought of! I do find it useful to have separate, handwritten notes to remind me of the big-picture concerns while I’m typing queries in the ms.

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