A (semi-serious) Editing Survival Guide

Saturday, January 23, 2016
We all know this: Editing is kinda really horrible.  

I've started up my hardcore editing mode this past after taking a much needed break. And as I'm reading through my novel, taking notes on what to fix, there's just so much to do. It can be overwhelming. (Or always overwhelming. Mostly the latter.)

SO, naturally the next step to make editing less stressful. I have created a handy dandy "survival guide list" for you.

It's a kinda a serious list but it isn't.

Here we go: 


Because it is practically a crime to have cold feet. Fuzzy socks are comfortably, fun to look at, super fun to slip around on wood floors, and generally an awesome invention that I wish I had thought of first.

They'll make editing better. Promise.


Wouldn't it be cool if you could somehow control the weather so you could have a thunderstorm every time you edited? Unfortunately, it's not possible, so this is more of a "wishful thinking" survival point.

Though, this website called rainy mood transports you to a pretty realistic sounding thunderstorm if you have headphones on. 


I mean, food is really great. So, hot cocoa is a must for me during the cold snowy months. And of course you need to use a cute noveling mug. (below) (I bought mine here.) 

(I feel like a "real" writer when I use this. :P Isn't it cute?)
Other editing food can include cookies, brownies, clementines, pizza, chocolate, pizza, chewing gum (it's... kinda food?), pizza, popcorn, and basically all the other sweets you can think of. xD 

Did I mention pizza?


I love music. So, so, so much. I listen to music when I'm doing school, writing, reading, blogging, and especially editing. Music really helps transport me into the scene and world when all I'd rather be doing is eating pizza and organizing my bookshelf. :P 


Or tissues or nose cloths or whatever you want to call them, because you'll need them. Editing is 40% staring at your document, 10% editing, and 50% crying. 


To go along with your fuzzy socks, of course. *wraps self into a burrito blanket and hides from editing*


... I tried really hard not to make this part of the survival list, BUT I COULDN'T RESIST THE URGE. My love for pizza is too great.

Basically: Eat pizza while editing and everything will become 127% better.


My wonderful mother (*waves*) gave me a binder so I could put allll my editing and writing notes in one place so they'd no longer be scattered around the house and in danger of getting tossed in the garbage. I don't have much in it yet, but someday, in a couple years, it will be this thick beast full of genius scribblings. :P (At least, that's the hope.) 

(And I'm aware that scribblings isn't a word, but it sounded cool.)

And oh my goodness... These pens are the best. Ever. I love super fine-tipped pens, and they're perfect for everything: School, letters, doodling, story notes... 


Because... why not? I've heard dragons can be fantastic editors. That is, if the egg ever hatches...


I mean... you just might need this for actually editing. It's a necessary evil. But if the thought of even peeking at the manuscript scares you, feel free to skip this step in the survival guide. Enjoy your dragon egg, food, and music on their own.

If I'm slow answering comments today, this is why: 

- Katie Grace

How do you keep track of your editing/writing notes? Anything else you'd add to this survival guide? (Serious or not? :P)

- - -


  1. oh gosh...editing. that was my least favorite part of writing fiction. probably part of the reason why i took a break from it...i didn't know where the editing started and mistakes ended.

    1. I'm not sure if I'll ever know when my mistakes end...if they do, haha. *scolds editing*

  2. When I started a"book" I thought I was gonna die from how much editing and fixing up it needed! (I still haven't got it done. :o )
    I love how funny you are! You sound just like me! (I am very sarcastic!)
    Anyways, have an awesome week! Let's just forget about editing for now cause it's STAURDAY!


    1. Aack I'm still worried that I will die from all the editing and rewriting. 0.0 JUST SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP PLEASE.

      I WISH I could've forgotten about editing, but I edited 10k. o.o *dies* It was a very, very, very exhausting day. :P

  3. I usually go chapter by chapter and rely a lot on m AMAZING critique!

    1. Yes, critique partners are SO important! I'm blessed with an amazing one. ^.^

  4. A friend who's waiting to read the chapters soon after you edit them. That's important. It provides an excellent sense of motivation.

    1. Yes! It can be so motivation to know that someone is waiting and actually WANTS to read them. So then they can assure you that it isn't awful and has some hope/potential. :P

  5. Oh my gosh Katie this is the best. XD Well, I love sitting beside a window when I write/edit and even read. Right now it's snowing and it's positively gorgeous to just stop and look outside. Good lighting also reminds me there is, in fact, a whole other world outside!

    1. Oh, and Katie, I meant to ask - what is the cursive font you used in the featured image of your post? It's so pretty!

    2. Hehe thank you. xD Ahh, it's so wonderful to edit when it's snowing! We unfortunately haven't gotten as much snow as previous years... Usually we have a couple heavy storms but it's been more of a cold year and not so much a snowy one. Oh well.

      It's called "Pennellino." Isn't it gorgeous? I think I'm going to start using it as the featured text for my posts. :D

  6. Editing is the WORST. Seriously. But hot chocolate in a noveling mug would definitely help. And who can survive without some editing PIZZA? Come on, people.

    Kleenex is a must. Learned that with my Sleeping Beauty story. *nods*

    Editing notes and fun pens, YES. Yes yes yes, just yes. I could not survive a minute of editing without those. I have so many pens, you have no idea. And I tend to end up with pages upon pages of editing notes :D.

    THE DRAGON EGG. Where did you get that, I NEEDS one! And then it shall sit next to me whilst I edit and give me silent support. *nods*

    A document? ... naw, we don't need one of those. Well okay, maybe we do. But they're just so SCARY!

    Beta readers. That is what I would add to the list. Editing is virtually impossible without some type of help. Hence the beat readers.

    Here's wishing you all the luck (and pizza) in the world as you try to write 10k words today!

    1. PIZZAAA! I had pizza tonight, actually. It made me so happy. :P

      Ahh, yes. I've learned the use of Kleenex through this draft of editing especially. It's just a very trying task. :P *pat pat* When did you start your Sleeping Beauty retelling?

      MWAHAHA THE DRAGON EGG. I actually made it myself. :D I followed this tutorial - http://acciolacquer.com/diy/dragon-eggs-tutorial/

      Ooh, duh. Beta readers, critique partners... Some set of eyes to help you out. Yes. *nod* Just... two more months until I may need beta readers. *shrieks*

      THANK YOUUU! I survived. Just barely. o.o

    2. Ooo, really? Then we had pizza on the same day :D.

      I actually don't know! I had written one novella, was working on the second, thinking I would choose my favorite to send in after they were written. But then they suddenly decided they didn't want to be written anymore, and a new novella idea popped up. And that 'new idea' is the one I entered :D.

      Wait, you MADE that dragon egg?! That tutorial is one I'm going to HAVE to watch! And I may very well end up with an awesome little dragon egg of my own ...

      Only two months until beta readers for Katie ... I feel like I should play some dramatic music right now.

      You're welcome! I don't know how you possibly survived all of that editing. You must be part faerie or something. Or you have a magic computer (or pen, I dunno).

    3. Eep! Pizza buddies! *high fives*

      Ohhhhh, that's cool! Wow, having three different Sleeping Beauty idea retellings is very impressive. o.o Do you think you'll ever go back to work on the other two someday?

      YES! It looks so real, doesn't it? It's just a foam egg with thumbtacks painted with any color of nail polish you want. *squeals* You should make one, and then somehow send me a picture, because that would be awesome. *nod*

      I think I should play some intense epic-chase-scene music while I dive back into editing so I can finish it in time. xD

      I DON'T KNOW EITHER! I'm kinda surviving. Not really. Pizza and all of the above points have kept me kinda alive. Otherwise it's mostly the hope of being done with edits. :P

    4. I probably will, though I'm not sure what I'll do with them once they're a little more spiffed up :D.

      That's seriously all it is?! Wow. Wow wow wow. Now I need to take a trip to the nearest craft store to get a foam egg so I can make my own :D. Ooo, yes, I should (somehow) send you a picture when it's done!

      Intense epic-chase-scene music always helps. *nodnod*

      The hope of being done with edits is a very good incentive to continue with them ... even if all the edits are out to kill you. I barely escaped with my life. Be careful, Katie.

  7. Love your list Katie!!! =D Where did you get a dragon's egg? I hope it hatches! Post a picture if it does! =)

    (P.S. Can you tell us about how you like to go through your manuscript? Do you do chapter by chapter, or what? Thanks!) =)

    1. I made it! I followed this tutorial - http://acciolacquer.com/diy/dragon-eggs-tutorial/

      Ooh, I should write up a blog post on this. *nod* I will sometime in March since I have all my posts lined up for February. (Unless I change my mind about one of them.) Thank you sooo much for asking. *keeps the answer a secret until the post, mwahaha, the anticipation* :P

  8. YES!! All this stuff is totally necessary. *nods* Food is a necessity to me for writing OR editing. ;)

    1. FOOOOOOD. Really, food is always a necessity to me no matter what I'm doing. xD

  9. Seriously. Best post ever. EEKKK. Must get that mug! :D :D :D I KNOW. FUZZY BLANKETS ARE THE BEST.

    IKR? Actually, I wished the power would go out once. ha...ha...ha...just so there would be no internet and I could sit down and WRITE.

    You know Katie, you always say how you procrastinate..but it seems you get a lot of work done. (I'm a major, major, MAJOR procrastinator!) It's bad...I'm procrastinating basically all. the. time. Even now....

    I think I need more music. And a cocoa mug. *nods* Thanks, Katie! *waves*

    1. YES YOU CAN GET THE MUG AND THEN WE CAN BE TWINS TOGETHER! :D Fuzzy blanketssss. I spent the whole day yesterday wrapped up in one and it was marvelous.

      I would simultaneously love that and hate that. I mean, yay for no internet, but what if your computer ran low on battery? And I feel like I would find other ways to distract myself. But it's an exciting experience nonetheless. :P

      AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay. I do get something done, but I got distracted five times just trying to answer this comment. So, maybe I wouldn't call it procrastinating, just getting distracted, cause I genuinely want to answer this comment but then I'll get distracted and forget. :P

      *waves and hugs* Yes, more music is good. What do you like to listen to while writing?

    2. *silently emerges from stalking your blog* Your blog is amazing...very inspiring to procrastinators like me..who should be writing. ;P Do you know what thought just ran through my head? Stupid me. *headdesk*
      "Wow. She should write a book."
      *facepalm* SERIOUSLY. Brain dead. I sorta meant like a writing book on how to write (or how not to write lol) but uh...yeah...stupid me.

      YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! :D :D My softttt blanket is a navy blue. It's my best buddy. ;)

      ah, well, that's not a problem for me because I've had my alphasmart for over a year..on the same AA batteries..and uhhh...it's still full charged. *thumbs up* Yeah, no danger of it dying soon. Maybe it will last for the rest of my life. lol.

      LOL. I did some writing earlier...so I'm okayyyy. But I should be doing more. ;) Ah, yes, I am distracted much. I got some writing done tho, cause my friend kindly word warred with me. ;) Isn't word war AWESOME?

      Well, mostly classical, upbeat, THE PIANO GUYS. 'nough said. Stuff that I got from soundfuel..lol. that kinds stuff. Don't give me the Christian music with lyrics. I will get lost and start singing along. I don't get much done if I have that.. *ahem* What about you?

    3. Ooops. Do not let my blog be a place for procrastination! *waggles finger* ;)
      Ahaha, that sounds like me sometimes. xD It's totally fine. *patpat* Like that one time when I finally figured out why "Veggie Tales" was called Veggie Tales. Because they're vegetables in a tale. Oh dear me. We'll survive through braindeadness together. :P

      Oooh, that's awesome. o.O I have to carry around my charger everywhere because it lasts around two hours... mostly because I play music and music drains the battery reallyyyy fast.

      WORD WARS. Oh. My. Goodness. Word wars are my bestest friend. I'm not even remotely stretching the truth when 98% of my book was written with word wars/word sprints involved. :P

      OOH THE PIANO GUYS. Ack, they're music is so amazing and somehow I never thought of listening to them for writing?? I must do that. Immediately.
      Ha, yeah. I often listen to music with lyrics because it's "fun," but then I get distracted and singing and... oops. :P I was doing that with my first novel while listening to Audio Adrenaline's "Kings and Queens" album. Quite easy to sing to that one...

    4. lol! Sorryyyyyy. It's just so inspiring! Hey, it got me to write. ;) oh, yeah..sometimes we just get brain dead because we quickly use up our writerly juice. Today I went outside with my sisters for a photoshoot..and I was staring at some rusty metal with bolts in it on an old silo out there...describing it in my head. lol!

      lol! I sure get a lot more writing done, and it does stretch you to do your best work. ;) :D

      YES. They are AMAZING. Seriously. EPIC. :D :D They are AWESOME for writing. ;) ah, yes...very distracting. Sometimes I need no music if I get a rush of inspiration. Love those times. Other times you have to get out the chocolate, all your notes, tons of paper and pens, food of a sort, shut your door to the outside world and turn on some nice lights..*ahem* Then, maybeee you are ready to write. ;)

      Do you find you can write anywhere? Or are some places distracting?
      Also, how long are your "average" chapters, and do you try to keep them "level"?

  10. I too am in the editing/rewriting phase and it is indeed tedious. *shakes head* If only our mind's could stay on one idea instead of all over the place while editing.
    Good luck to you!

    1. Ack I knowww. :P Rewriting is the worst. I hate it even more than editing. xD
      Good luck to you, too! WE CAN DO THIS!

  11. this is honestly so amazing! Fuzzy socks, blankets, pizza, food, yes it makes editing a little bit more endurable :)
    I just love your blog sooo much <3

    1. YOU ARE TOO KIND, LAUREN, THANK YOU! <3 Just a "bit" endurable. As endurable as editing can get. :P

      Thanks for commenting and being awesome! <3

  12. I approve of this yesssss. Especially the pizza. That's crucial. xD

    1. Good yesss this makes me glad. And writing buddies who will hang with me through my loopyness and provide all the wars. xD

  13. *nods* Pizza is the best editing food of ever. Also, I've only ever used rainycafe.com (you can have a thunderstorm going as well as the sounds of a cafe, and you can determine the volumes of each), but rainymood.com is really cool and I'm glad you linked to it.

    Your mug is very cute I suppose. *jealous grumbling*

    The only point that wouldn't work for me is the fuzzy socks one. My feet have such good circulation that they are always rather too warm, and I get claustrophobic if I wear socks (unless it's at night or if I'm out in public and have to walk around in sneakers). But yes, I approve of this list. :P

    1. Oooh I must check that out, now. o.o Then I could have my hot cocoa and it will feel like I'm in a coffee shop! xD

      Ooops, sorry. :P *should sometime do a giveaway of wonderful writing stuff, yes*

      Ahhh, that makes sense. And I'm the complete opposite. I never wear socks at night. I can't stand them then. :P

  14. I was going to do a post like this but you summed it up better than I ever could. This is 1000% accurate. Especially pizza. And hot chocolate. Pizza is life, and crucial to editing. AND MUSIC. BASICALLY ALL OF THIS.

    Those pens... sound absolutely amazing. I think I need to get myself some new pens. Mine are all awful.

    Also, side note, your pictures are lovely.

    I hope your editing-till-your-fingers-bleed day went well!

    1. Aww well you could still do one if you wanted to! I'm missed some things and it would be cool to see your thoughtsss.

      DUDE YOU SHOULD TOTALLY GET THEM. They are so awesome. o.o

      Thank youu! I threw school out the window one morning so I could take all the pictures when there was good lighting. xD

      I mostly survived! Just a bit slow in answering comments since it's hard to write when your fingers are stumps, so.

  15. These are great tips, I like to have all of these things while editing!
    Crying is basically all I do... that and eat :)

    1. Crying and eating. Yas. xD
      Thanks for commenting! <3

  16. ELLO KATE GRACE. My name is Abbiee. *extents hand shakes and waffles* I was following you on twitter and then I found your lovely blog through Megan's blog and then I was like HEY THAT'S THAT COOL GIRL FROM TWITTER. ahem. so there's my story how interesting. Anyway I'm super happy I found your blog because it's a lovely place and gah. just following the end. ;)

    OMG YES EDITING IS HORRIBLE. xD but I kind of love it at the same time?? idk I have a love/hate relationship with editing. I love to go back and read my writing and re-fall in love with (?? heh) my characters and story and just experience all the FEELS. But then there's the actual editing process where sentences don't make sense and run on and are messy and horrible and make me cry and rip my hair out and eat copious amounts of chocolate. In other words, I NEED THIS SURVIVAL GUIDE.

    eee yes fuzzy socks. ALSO LEG WARMERS. I'm getting really in leg warmers lately and learning that they're the runner-up to fuzzy socks. Because SITING AT A DESK IS COLD, HARD, LABORIOUS WORK. Now you just need to invent a thing that will keep my hand warm (yep just my right hand. it's all exposed to the elements because it has to be out in the open, using the mouse. SO DANGEROUS.) haha that mug is love. ♥ AND MUSIC IS SO PARAMOUNT OMG. I could not live without music. #truth

    "Editing is 40% staring at your document, 10% editing, and 50% crying." < HAHAH SO TRUE OH MY WORD. okay so basically this is awesome and amazing and you are awesome and amazing. oki bai. :D


    1. ELLO ABBIEEEEE! (I love how your name is spelled. :P) *devours waffles* Megan's blog. *blanks* I'm trying to think if I know a Megan around the blogosphere... Hmm.
      Aww, and I'm so glad you found my blog! I feel honored to be that "cool girl from Twitter." xD

      Yeahhhh I mean that makes SENSE, but I just want to get to the point where everything is perfect. *grumble* If everything will EVER be perfect. :P

      LEG WARMERS. Oh my goodness, I need to get myself a pair of those. I have some lovely hand warmers that I got for Christmas and they're very nice for typing. :D Ack I love music. So much. SO MUCH.

      Oki bai thank you for all of your encouraging words I'm glad you found my blog. <3

  17. This survival guide will save many lives :) I've beta read, but I'm yet to complete editing on one of my own stories. Obviously because I was doing it wrong- to start with, pizza, fluffy socks and good pens were missing :)

    1. Yup, you definitely need pizza, fluffy socks, and amazing pens. :P

  18. Wishing you the best of luck with your editing! I've never gone through that stage but I will force myself to do it late 2016/early 2017!!

    Thank you SO much for the rainy mood website link. I feel more productive when it rains so I'm definitely using it :)

    1. Ooh, it'll come up sooner than you think... and want. xD

      You're so welcome! It's my new favorite thing and play it a lot. Listening to some soft instrumentals with it is nice, too. :D

  19. Such a great list! I have no entered the world of hardcore editing just yet, but will be soon; as one of the books I'm working on is near completion. I'm dreading it, but you've given me some inspiration to just run with it and get'er done! Now where are my fuzzy socks???....

    Blessings -


    1. Eep, how exciting! :D Is this your first novel?

      *fake stern look* Yes, where are your fuzzy socks, woman? You need some. *nodnod* :P

  20. This list is amazing. Fuzzy socks, cocoa, music, and food? COUNT ME IN.


    *cough* I mean, yeah, I really like them too.


      *cough* I mean, yeah, that's cool that you like them.

  22. I actually edit on the computer with no music (it breaks my concentration), a notebook, and a hot cup of tea, but I do enjoy good socks and popcorn along with that. ;) Cute tips! And you can never go wrong with a dragon egg.


    1. Mmm, popcorn... Sometime's it's hard to edit with popcorn because my fingers get all greasy. But I don't think eating popcorn with a... spoon... would really work all that well. xD

    2. That's why one must keep a napkin handy. XD

  23. Ooh, those are the same kind of pens as my mom and Caiti use. :-) I use similar ones, by a different company... But, actually, I've found that brainstorming goes much more smoothly if I have a... Smooth-writing... Writing utensil... xP I used cool pens (And now I have lots of colors for next time), washable crayons, and a couple markers...

    Ooh. Nice dragon egg. xP Unfortunately, the league of dragons in this area organised a strike to get people's attention, so I haven't been able to get a dragon egg of my own...

    This post made me laugh... And half-laugh-because-I-relate-even-though-I've-never-edited-a-novel. xP

    1. Ooh, really? That's awesome. And I totally agree. Brainstorming works a lot better if I'm writing on paper WITH cool pens. xP
      I can't use crayons, though. :P They're too thick. But colored pencils are nice.

      Thank you. xP Also, where have you been?! I've been trying to catch you in chat so I can beat you to the countdown and also talk about a reread of The Reckoners books before Calamity comes out (!!), but I can never seem to be on at the same time. :P
      Ah, I feel like you mentioned the dragons striking at one point. Oh bother.

      Someday soon you will laugh because I will get you to edit a novel yet. *nod* Because I want to read a thing from you. *nods again* :P

    2. Yeah, I didn't use crayons for writing, I used them to color code the papers. xP

      Well. School just started, and, in addition to that, we just switched around who is doing each job around the house, so Athelas is washing laundry, and I'm putting it away... And, you know, Athelas never half-does something. xP So I've been a bit busy. But I'm back! xD

      Ooh. A re-read of The Reckoners... Could I survive that? xP Ooh! Did you know there's a novella between Steelheart and Firefight? I want to read it, but my mom has to read it first, and she has a stack of books to read first. xP It's downloadable on my library website.

      Laugh? Because of editing? xP If you say so.


don't be shy to hang out in the comment section!
make frens, check back for my replies, keep things clean, shout about pizza, squeal about books, moan about editing... all that cool stuff.