My Editing Method
When it comes to editing their poetry chapbooks poets print out every poem and rearrange it until it best tells a story and flows well. It's a good method that helps you physically see how the story can work and moves your headspace so that you don't feel stuck.
My body of works are larger and honestly I don't want to waste paper. It could work better for smaller projects. I could possibly focus on the rearrangement by chapter. What works for me is to have a list of the titles, a topic jogger and number it in the order I want them in. Then I go into the document and move the poems.
After all that my first step is to read it in full and read it aloud. As I do that I take notes on paper or through track changes. I start with the smaller tasks and move on to the bigger ones.
For Individual Poems:
- Remove unnecessary words and lines
- Look up synonyms and rhymes
- Rearrange lines or stanzas and change POV
- Expand and personalize: research about the topic, look at old journals and photos. Ask your poems what, why, and how questions.
- Figure out what poetic devices could work for the poems.
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