When you get to the point where you want to do a read-through of your manuscript, with an eye toward editing, do you read it on-screen (in an editable program such as Word) or do you print it out?

I keep trying to read mine on my computer, but I find it a chore. My concentration wanders or I get caught up in rewriting something -- and never move on.

I keep telling myself that it's more efficient to read and correct on the computer screen, than to print it out (a waste of paper and ink). However, I'm beginning to have my doubts.

What do you do?

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Both. As the book gets closer to the final product, I'm more likely to use a hard copy; earlier edits are done on screen. I do read aloud from a screen quite often when I edit, whether on the screen or from a hard copy.
I agree, Dana. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to edit. Your eye can't skim over mistakes you might otherwise miss. It also exposes unnatural phrases that sound correct in your head.

Of course, there is always the issue of when to read aloud. This isn't something I would do at the coffee shop outside the confines of my writing group.
Dana, Ben: Reading aloud is a good idea. However, when I do it myself, I find that I still automatic supply missing words and such.

Sometimes I use my computer to read the manuscript back to me. The automatic voice isn't always the nicest to listen to, but the read-back is still very helpful. Not only does it save my eyes, and catch typos, missing words, it also helps with phrasing and supportive punctuation.

As for when and where to read aloud, oh, I would never worry about something like that. When one lives in a place like New York City, where everyone talks to themselves in public (sometimes pretending to talk on a cell phone, yeah right), one needn't worry about the acceptability of sitting in a cafe and reading one's prose aloud -- or even, I dare say, acting it out a bit. :-)
I no longer own a printer.
Mine is a headache with an ink cartridge. In the digital world, I don't blame you.
I actually have two printers. One to make color prints (bought it for the kids' school projects) and a b/w for text. However, operating both to print out reams of papers (a) is expensive and (b) makes me feel oh so guilty. I keep thinking about all the trees I'm killing.
The girl at Staples knows my books are underway. I seem to do 2-3 drafts onscreen, and then I need to print it out. I've found a format (8.5 x 11" cut in half and bound with a coil binding) that really resembles a book format, so I use that for a couple of rounds of editing. It helps to have a hardcopy in front of me, and to be able to flip back and forth to draw some things together.

Also, I send outside readers hardcopy versions so they don't have to work too hard. I've found the smaller format makes them much happier (and more thorough) than a full-size manuscript!
Using Staples to print out the manuscript in a book-like format is a good idea. I think I'll try it when I feel confident that the manuscript "just" needs a final polish.
For me it used to be both, but I have been doing more "on-screen" editing lately. For some reason I'm more willing to ruthlessly gut large sections on screen than on paper.
Actually, the willingness to cut, cut, cut is one of the things about on-screen editing that bothers me. I find that with the computer ... well, I'm so close, I can't see the forest for the trees. I've found myself whittling out material that should actually remain, but I've become so focused on the one scene, one chapter, that I've lost a sense of the overall work.
I have always printed out copies as I do revisions/edits on my stories...invariably, I find more mistakes when its printed than on the computer. Maybe it's psychological, maybe i'm more careful when it's on paper, or maybe i've been more meticulous when I have the paper in fornt of me as opposed to the cursor.
I agree, I also find more mistakes on paper than on screen. In the past, I've been appalled at how many mistakes my eyes glazed over when reading it on screen.


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