Editing ,

The Daunting Task of Editing a Novel

Well, I’ve done it. The first draft of Caught Inside, my very first attempt at a novel and Book 1 in my Boys on the Brink series, is complete at around 85,000 words. Hooray! The process of writing it hasn’t always been easy. When I started, I only had the vaguest outline of where the plot was headed, and one of the main storylines didn’t resolve itself until I was around two thirds of the way in. Still, I got there in the end, and I have to say it feels amazing!

Now comes the really difficult part…

I have this mess of a first draft sitting on my computer, and, somehow or other, I have to turn it into a manuscript worthy of publication. Fortunately for me, there’s an abundance of help out there. For anyone about to embark on the editing process, I can recommend checking out 11 Tips for Your Second Draft. Not only is there some fantastic advice here, it’s also incredibly funny, which I confess has made the whole task feel just a little less daunting.

The tips on walking away from your novel for several weeks to give you the chance to make the transition from writer to editor are particularly valuable, I think. I was so tempted to jump straight in and begin editing after I wrote the final chapter, but I resisted. I was just too close to my characters and their story to allow me to read objectively. That was almost a month ago now. I plan to start editing in earnest on Monday, by which time I’ll hopefully be ready to don my ruthless editor’s hat and tear my masterpiece to shreds.

Authors, I’d be so grateful if you would share your experiences. How do you set about the task of editing your novel? What methods have you found work for you? Do you have a specific routine you follow? I’d really love to hear from you.

In the meantime, wish me luck! I have a horrible feeling I’m going to need it…

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