As I present workshops for wanna-be writers, I try to give them as many ways as possible to see the faults in early drafts. I have all the English-teacher tricks, of course, and the writers' secrets I've picked up along the way. But everyone is different, and what works for some doesn't appeal to others at all. So the question today is:

What do you do to make editing/rewriting/polishing productive?

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Comment by Pepper Smith on February 4, 2009 at 4:47am
One thing I've read about (and tried) is to change the font the manuscript is in. For some reason it makes the whole thing look entirely different and you catch things you didn't see in the familiar font.
Comment by Dana King on February 4, 2009 at 1:14am
I had three good suggestions, all of which can be read in Jack's comment above. Damn.
Comment by Kathryn Lilley on February 4, 2009 at 1:00am
I have a list of "storykillers" that I look for. I go through my drafts to weed them out. I have assembled them into a workshop called "Stomping Out Your Storykillers." I was inspired to develop this approach by Chris Roerdan's excellent book, "Don't Murder Your Mystery."
Comment by Jack Getze on February 3, 2009 at 11:56pm
On my agent's advice, a put several weeks of "rest" between drafts. I also try to read the manuscript aloud at least once, usually near the final draft. And most important for me: Good feedback BEFORE that last draft. I have three readers who I've learned to trust.

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