Take A Deep Breath - It's Time For Line Edits

Oh line edits. You must be the bane of a writer's life. I don't doubt for a moment there are plenty of writers out there who love it, and there are times when I find it really fulfilling - tweaking those tiny details to really make the final version of my book shine.

But then it's also an unbelievably tedious process and, while I can't speak for others, there are definitely times when I read what I've written, cock my head to one side and wonder why I've reached my twenties with such a poor grasp on the English language.

For those of you hard at work on your first ever first drafts, line edits are when you go through every single sentence and weed out all the issues.  This can be stuff like passive voice (she was running instead of she ran), said bookisms, terrible grammar, bad spelling, incorrect tense... basically everything. And the frustrating thing is one line edit read-through isn't enough.  How many's enough? That's hard to say.  Go with your gut. If you think your MS is ready and your beta readers agree, start those query engines!

I'm closing in on my line edits.  My first edit focused on separating 79,000 words into chapters and noting down particular plot issues, as well as putting in the necessary scientific details.  Next time, I will be sucking entire red pens dry with the sheer quantity of nitty gritty line edits I need to carry out.

I can offer advice - Do it in chunks, take breaks and push through the bad times to find those sparkling moments of awesomeness in your draft - and I can offer a shoulder to cry on or a high five (whichever's appropriate)

Wish me luck.  And best of luck to all of you embarking on line edits too!


  1. Oooh, line edits. Good luck! There's this website called editminon, where you paste in your manuscript and it goes through highlighting certain things. I love it most for finding adverbs, weak words, and passive voice. Talk about awesome. ;)

    1. Oooh, thanks for the link! I will have to check that out.


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