Things I Have Learned About Editing - Part Two
- Even when you think you can't possibly have any major issues left, you'll uncover silly plot holes, characters with the wrong hair colour and repetitive dialogue. For example, I had a character ask a question, get an answer, then ask the same question after receiving the answer... and I'd already answered the question in the preceeding paragraph ^^;
- Said is fine. Give said a cuddle.
- One, two, three or even four read-throughs are not enough. And it doesn't get easier. But your manuscript looks better :)
- Line by line editing is important, but so is "big picture" editing. If a paragraph doesn't move the story on, get rid of it! Same if it's an entire, static chapter. Everything has to be there for a reason.
- Don't hang onto scenes solely because you like them. If it's not doing anything, cut it.
- Quality over quantity. My novel seems to be levelling off at 77k. First draft was over 95k!
- You need betas; their input is invaluable. Don't deny the advice they offer because it could be exactly what you need to be told.
- If it's scary, or you think it'll be hard to change, then it's worth changing. Don't let complacency limit you!
- Keep really, really, really good notes.
- If you delete something in chapter five but mention it in chapter ten, make sure you edit accordingly. I'd give you an example from my manuscript, but I can't without spoiling the plot ;)
- DO NOT DELETE PREVIOUS DRAFTS!!!!
- Don't give in. Don't be disheartened.
- Don't rush editing - you'll miss something for sure.
I was inspired by Jaime's post yesterday to share the current state of my desk...
Aaaaand to my left...
I also received the Versatile Blogger Award from Robin! Thank you so much for sharing such kinds words about this blog! It really made my day!