This is the name of the challenge I am taking part in over on the KiwiWriters website and I have to admit that I am actually really enjoying the editing process.
Editing isn’t something that I have always enjoyed doing, in fact I can remember back – and shudder to think – that I was once so proud of every single word I wrote that I didn’t see the need to remove it. Now, if it doesn’t fit, it repeats itself, or is unnecessary, it is GONE!
So how did I get to such a point in my writing? Am I being too lax and casual about it? Hell no. I write, and always give myself a month of two off before I edit, only to clear my head of the story. It is easy enough to pick up the thread again when I am reading it over, but at least sometimes I am surprised by what I have written.
Giving myself a month off, allows me to see the story with fresh eyes. The first thing I do is read through, chapter by chapter. Since I do most of my writing in yWriter, it also breaks it down into scene by scene. This helps me to determine whether I have repeated myself in the story, which I discovered recently when editing That Bloody Gothic Novel (not its real name, just one that seems to fit it beautifully for now).
Once I have read a chapter, I will go through and check the spelling and grammar, then work my way through the chapter, sentence by sentence to make sure that it make sense, there are no unnecessary words. My thinking is – can I say this sentence in a shorter way? Can I reword it to make more sense? Does it make sense the way it is? Does it convey the emotions / thoughts / ideas that I am trying to portray?
While this may sound like a slow process, it actually isn’t. I can edit a chapter in 3/4 hour, which isn’t too bad considering there is about 3500 words per chapter.
So am I being lax? No, I do my first round of editing, the forward my story onto readers for the initial reading to make sure that people like it / pick up any errors that I have made / does it flow / would you read it? Once I get these comments back, I work through them to edit the story, tighten it up, get rid of those pesky words such as “and then”, “was”, “had been” and “and…and…and”, which I found a few of!
I am editing two stories at the same time, I am going through Medusa’s Garden which has already been out to readers, and first edit through of The Bloody Gothic Novel – if anyone is interested in being a reader for the gothic novel, please let me know, and when I have finished at the end of the month, I will send it out to you.