Things I Have Learned About Editing - Part Two

Here's the first part. So, what else have I learned?
  1. 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 ^^;
  2. Said is fine.  Give said a cuddle.
  3. One, two, three or even four read-throughs are not enough.  And it doesn't get easier.  But your manuscript looks better :)
  4. 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. 
  5. Don't hang onto scenes solely because you like them.  If it's not doing anything, cut it.
  6. Quality over quantity.  My novel seems to be levelling off at 77k. First draft was over 95k!
  7. 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.
  8. If it's scary, or you think it'll be hard to change, then it's worth changing.  Don't let complacency limit you!
  9. Keep really, really, really good notes.
  10. 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 ;)
  12. Don't give in.  Don't be disheartened.
  13. Don't rush editing - you'll miss something for sure. 
Phew! So much to remember!

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!


  1. That is definitely a much-used and much-loved desk :-) It even has it's own stuffed Link (I think)! My desk is still holding up pretty well, with clutter so far kept at bay. We'll see how all that goes lol (Thanks for the shout out BTW).

    I really like this list that you made. There's so much here that I'm going to be taking with me and applying to my own WiP (#5 and #6 in particular). Great post! :-)

    1. The scary thing is, I've had it nearly ten years! I'm amazed it hasn't crumbled under the weight of stuff ;) And you're welcome for the shout out :D

  2. Congrats on your award!

    I love your desk! Mine is too big to fit in a picture (too messy and I have two bookcases sitting on it so you wouldn't see much). Love your annotations!

    Great tips! I especially love number 2. I love said!

    1. I always think my desk is too small, but if I cleared some of the clutter, it would be much better ^_^

      Said is brilliant, isn't it? Took me a lot of editing to realise it!

  3. Number 5 is my bugbear. "But, but, but...I love that part!"

    Luckily my internal editor is a heartless bitch and rips out scenes and characters like a mad dentist laughing at my pain.

    1. Oh, me too. I'm still arguing with myself over one more scene, but I think it miiiiiiiiight be able to say. We'll have to see what the betas think ;)

      My internal editor is slowly giving up on her sentimentality, but it's not easy!

  4. "Said is fine. Give said a cuddle. "

    Brilliant, and so very true.

    1. Another way of putting it: Do not underestimate the power of said.


  5. All very good tips! Said is such a good word, and doesn't always get the love it deserves. *Pets Said*
    I once had to delete a scene that did absolutely nothing for the plot. I was so sad because my protag had this awesome quip that everyone laughed at... but ultimately, it had to go. But the book was much better for it!
    Yay for editing!

    1. It's hard to make the call, but the book will thank you for it :D

  6. Yes! To all of these. Good luck on the continuing edits. :)


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