Of all the editing features out there, few are as simple and magical as the Ctrl - A, Z, X, C, and V technique. Yep. I said magic! Think about it. With two keystroke combinations, an entire 150k manuscript can disappear and reappear. Or parts of it. This is a major time saver.
Most word processors use this keystroke combination, something that would make my early writing days a lot easier. If I had known, I could have touched two keys and restored an accidentally deleted chapter instead of rewriting it. Most of you know this, so bear with me.
Ctrl - A: This selects everything in your document
Ctrl - X: Cuts highlighted portion from your document.
Ctrl - C: Copies highlighted portion; does not remove.
Ctrl - V: Pastes highlighted portion where the cursor is.
Ctrl - Z: Undoes any current action.
Ctrl - Y: Restores any previous action.
(If you don't know, you highlight by clicking and dragging your mouse over what you want to edit).
There you have it - the recipe for basic editing. They can be used for cutting sentences, paragraphs, pages, or whole chapters, and maybe using them elsewhere.
My current revision is a good example. The story itself is sound, but the manuscript needs a thorough touch-up. And some tightening. The beginning and ending calls for an almost complete rewrite. The first chapter is guilty of the infamous info dump, but some of that prose and information is still really good. It's just in the wrong place. The original first chapter? I cut it all and pasted on a separate document, in case I wanted to use any of it later. And I did, which saved me even more time.
This is not the rule, just my thoughts on the matter. Drafting a novel is the first step in a huge journey toward publication. And editing is the second.
Any editing shortcuts you'd like to share? Did I miss any keystrokes? Do you enjoy drafting or editing more?
I'm David, and someone lit my Babylon Candle!