Thought we’d take a little foray into the hell of editing. So you wrote a book, and you’re wondering what now? Well, editing! You want your words to shine so much they temporarily blind people.
While I’m sure this is one of those things that everyone does differently, this is how I do it.
1) Outline the Book
This is before it’s even written, it needs an outline? Why? Because you can spot problems in an outline much more easily than you can spot them in a full length novel. Case in point, MERCY (The Ferryman + The Flame #4) was outlined twice. The first time I got to chapter 17 and shredded the whole thing because it was crap. The second time…well let’s just say I can’t wait to see what kinds of FB messages my editor sends me about that book. *evil laugh*
2) Write like there’s no tomorrow
For two reasons. One so you get the momentum right and get the book onto paper. Stalling only turns you into a procrastinator and well if you stop, there’s a chance you won’t start again. Two, you want to write it all at once so that you can avoid your style changing. Hey, we’re all learning here right? So we write one book, read some other books, come back to write another book but we’ve got a stronger voice, different ways of phrasing things. If you write part of a book, take a long break of a few months and then come back to it you’ll notice that the earlier stuff isn’t as strong. Just saying…write it all in one shot (as in, over the course of 2-3 months, instead of 2-3 years.)
3) Read your first draft on Kindle
This is so that you don’t self edit while reading. You’re basically BETA reading your own work. You’ll know where to go back and clarify details, technicalities, and where scenes need to be longer, dialogue needs to be tighter, etc. etc.
4) Revise your first draft
Go back and fix all those things you noticed while on your kindle. Fix the typos and word choices you also noticed. Basically revise what doesn’t work, while also doing some light editing.
5) Read it again on your Kindle
Wax on, wax off.
6) Edit your first draft
NOW you can go through and edit all the things wrong with it. If there are more revisions to be made, get through those, but clean up sentence structure, pacing, word choices, grammar, punctuation and all the things YOU can recognize.
7) Send it to BETA readers
It’s so not ready for the public eye but it’s ready for those friends who can tell you what else needs to be revised.
8) Revise/Edit again as per BETA readers suggestions
Yeah this is beginning to hurt isn’t it? Didn’t I mention this was hell? You were warned.
9) Send to a Professional Editor
Like my girl, Michelle Kampmeier of I’m A Book Shark or Jaidis Shaw of Juniper Grove Book Solutions. Get them to do the heavy edits.
10) Edit again based on your Professional Editor’s suggestions
Most of them will simply point out what needs to change in the document without actually changing it, that’s up to you. So go through, fix everything they mentioned, or debate with them about it if you’re sticking to your guns. Tabitha Suzuma I am looking at you. I can’t imagine what you and your editor must go through, BUT your books are amazing because of it.
11) Send it to a Copy Editor
So in the process of this revising/editing sandstorm you missed a comma here, or you accidentally deleted the s in she, or you forgot a quotation mark or something. I’ve seen some of the traditionally published book go down this long road of copy edit mistakes once the book is out and it’s not really that nice a place to be. You wanna talk about being embarrassed in the bedroom? Nothing like getting to the major sex scene only to say “he” instead of “his”.
12) Read it one last time on your kindle
And once you’re totally happy with it, then you can go about doing everything else you need to do to publish your masterpiece!
On that happy note, I am currently reading ASYLUM (The Ferryman + The Flame #5) on my kindle for the first time. Feel free to be green with envy. Cheers,