Continuing with my series, Organization In Writing, this week I’ll be discussing one of the most painful, but also rewarding aspects of the writing process – editing:
This is a personal process, and it may not work for every writer, but I find it best to edit my work after I’ve had some time away from it. Often, after I’ve written a first draft, I will take a break from writing altogether, for about a week, and then perhaps turn my attention to another project. I only return to the draft for editing when I feel I can bring ‘fresh eyes’ to the work.
This may seem self evident, but you would not believe how many people think you only need to edit once. And to be clear, these are the edits you as a writer do, before you pass your work on to an actual editor. I try for at least three rounds of editing myself, before I sent it off to my editor.
Ideally, your writing should be edited by at least two different editors, though there are several different kinds of editing. I like to use both a substantive editor, and a copyeditor. A substantive editor deals with aspects of your storytelling – looking for inconsistencies, weaknesses in character development, and plot holes, while a copy editor deals with typos, punctuation and sentence structure.
I like to review each round of edits, and compare them to the previous iteration of my writing. Just before I release a novel, I like to go back and look at the finished product and compare it to my first draft. I find it very rewarding to see how far my story has come.
How do you organize your editing process? Tell me in the comments below!
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