Some editing advice for a first book?

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Thread: Some editing advice for a first book?

  1. #1

    Some editing advice for a first book?

    Hey there!

    I'm getting to a stage in my book where I'm starting to think about editing. I'm currently at 43k of words out of 150k but I find myself going back frequently to edit, to add more or delete passages. I'm just seeing if anyone here can give me advice on work which they have done and their process on editing.

    Do you think its best to go back on on your work every 30k/40k of words to re-read what you've done? Or would you say that editing should be something to consider towards to end of your work.

    Basically, whats your process?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member Fiender's Avatar
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    Jan 2020
    Rochester, New York
    Most writers strongly recommend waiting until you're finished with a piece before you go back an make significant revisions, and I agree with this 99.9% of the time. Finishing first drafts at all can be quite challenging and we don't need more road blocks in our way to slow us from getting there.

    When creating a new manuscript, I'll start a writing session by re-reading whatever I'd written last session, and that often results in some changes, but the main goal of that is simply reminding myself exactly where I was/what the mood is in the story at that time. If there's something I know I'm going to have to change, like I write a dramatic scene and realize it needed more foreshadowing, I'll make a note of that in a separate file, and come back to that file when the first draft is done.

  3. #3
    I write short books (6k-10k), but I'm also in the camp of don't make changes until I have it all down. In my first draft I'm just trying to get my thoughts in print, my first revision is when I start to make it readable.

  4. #4
    Hire a professional editor, one who will mark up your copy and then collaborate with you on revisions.

    Are you writing fiction? Or nonfiction?

  5. #5
    Member ehbowen's Avatar
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    Aug 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by David K. Thomasson View Post
    Hire a professional editor, one who will mark up your copy and then collaborate with you on revisions.

    Are you writing fiction? Or nonfiction?
    I am hoping that you are right. I had a very specific "wish list" for an editor for my manuscript: UK-based, female, comfortable with a supernatural/Christian fantasy/adventure novel, and willing to edit the language as one might have a century ago—diareses, 'who' and 'whom', generous (by today's standards) use of adverbs, and so forth.

    Fortunately, I found one (with the help of a recommendation from another editor I tried). Her name is Imogen Howson. She's working on the critique/edit right now; hopefully I'll hear back from her this week. Wish me luck.
    There are very few problems which cannot be solved with a suitable application of high explosives....

    Are your characters taking a train ride? Visit Hidden Content ...or ask me!

    --------Eric H. Bowen

  6. #6
    I mostly edit when I have around 8 chapters done. Than I print those chapters on paper and read it at once. If I read any mistakes I mark it with a color marker and edit it on my computer when I have read all chapters.

  7. #7
    After the first draft, I put it down for a while and move onto the next project. After at least two weeks (preferably longer) I'll go back and begin the first revision which is almost always tackling issues with the plot. And then I'll take another break after the first revision is done... and so on. Slowly moving it from something I enjoyed writing to something I think people would enjoy reading.


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