If you’re a frequent traveler, you probably have a packing checklist–a master list of clothing, toiletries, computer equipment, electronics, etc, that you need to remember to pack. A packing list prevents mistakes by helping you remember all those miscellaneous items you need to collect every time you head out of town. A packing list also saves you time because you don’t have to start from scratch every time you pack.
As a writer, an editing checklist serves essentially the same function.
- It helps you track those easy-to-miss details so you don’t make errors of omission.
- It’s a cumulative document, taking advantage of your experience over the long haul.
- It helps you to break down a potentially overwhelming task (editing a manuscript) into a series of manageable steps.
In other words, an editing checklist helps you complete your work more effectively, in less time, via a defined process.
It marks you as a professional!
Step 1: Define Your “Buckets”
So what goes on your editing checklist?