Friday, October 18, 2013

Editing HIDDEN: Step 2 - The Power of TK

The Power of TK

Do you struggle with getting your drafts done because you get lost in details or are you desperate to finally finish NaNoWriMo this year? Never fear - I have a tool for you!!!

Unless you're a journalist, it's possible you've never heard of tk.

Courtesy of Microsoft Office Clipart
Not everyone knows, but I spent ten years as a freelance journalist. Don't bother Googling for my articles. They are under my real name. Part of the reason I chose to use a pen name was to keep my two jobs completely separate. So far, it's worked. I mean, really, who wants to Google my books and end up with articles about baby poop?

Early on I learned the power of tk. Meaning "to come," tk is used as a placeholder in an article when you don't have all the info you need. TK is easy to see in a manuscript, whereas "to come" might look like normal text and be easily ignored.

And even though tk was around long before computers, it's awesome because there are very few English words where T and K are next to each other, so it ALWAYS shows up in spell check.

Handy, right?

Now when I write books, I'm a fast first drafter. I don't let anything stop me when I'm in the groove.

New character and I can't immediately come up with a name? tk
Don't know the number of years that have passed since a certain event? tk
Want to be more descriptive about a sword, but need to research it? tk

See where I'm going with this? You never have to stop again while drafting. Put in your tk and move on. You can always do your researching, naming, math, whatever in editing.

Now that I'm in editing mode, it's time to clean up all of those pesky tk notations in my manuscript. If I don't find them while I'm reading the text, spell check will be happy to point them out to me.

If you're still writing, you want to focus on getting the story down. The nitty gritty can come later. Besides, you will never have a book to query or self-publish if you don't finish it - trust me, tk will get you there.

More editing tips next week! Have a great weekend, everyone. :)



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  1. This is a great tip, Megg! I usually put a big XX, but I'm not consistent about it. Sometimes I'll put (NOTE: What's this guy's name?) LOL. I need a more consistent process for this, so I think I'll just use TK from here on out. :)

  2. LOVE it! Love it. I'm such a squirrel that I get hopelessly lost -- and lose my momentum, whenever I slow down to research. So helpful!