My editing process in steps

(First of all, I want to say Hi! I don’t know if any of you noticed, but I haven’t posted anything or been active here for more than a month. I’ve had no motivation, but I’m back now, more motivated than ever!)

So to the subject of this post: editing.

Some writers seem to think that editing is a horrible phase of the writing process. It’s “boring”, “tiring” and so on. I used to think so too. But not anymore.

Yes, editing is hard. It’s not always fun, and most of us writers think the writing part is the most fun. But, editing is necessary, and it can be really, really fun, and it don’t have to be that hard.

It can feel like editing will take forever, and you might don’t feel like you actually have any control over where you’re going.

I’m gonna give you some tips.

How to make editing easier and more fun.

You won’t always think it’s fun or easy, because motivation and inspiration can change and some days you just want to do other things. But by giving your editing some structure, you could both get control of your editing, and have more fun.

How i used to edit

When I wrote my three first novels, I didn’t really edit. I just finished writing the book, read it one time (to check for spelling and grammar stuff), and then I let my mother read it so that I could check some grammar again. Then I thought that I had finished editing.

I thought that my novels were really good, but they were horrible. And I didn’t even edit.

But I’ve learnt a lot since then.

How i edit now

The novel I’m working on now has got some more serious edits.

Here’s my editing process in steps:

  1. After I had the story rest for at least 2 weeks, I read through the whole thing and changed anything bad I could find, both big things and spelling/grammar.
  2. I sent it off to my beta readers. (Every writer should have beta readers! They’re the best and you learn so much!)
  3. I read through all the feedback I got from my beta readers. I wrote a list of things I wanted to change in my novel. I then started with the bigger changes and worked my way to the small details.
  4. I read the whole thing at least once.
  5. I sent the novel to a professional editor. (I know that it’s really, really expensive to hire an editor, I know. But if you’re serious about your writing and can afford to hire a professional editor, you should definitely do it. They go deep into the story and can tell you what needs to be done. They really open your eyes).
  6. I went through the editor’s feedback and made a list of things I wanted to change in the novel.
  7. I started with the bigger things and worked my way down to the smaller things.
  8. I then read through the whole thing, checking for places to add more showing instead of telling. At the same time I checked for places where I said things the reader already knew.
  9. I searched in the document for unnecessary words like suddenly, so, then and so on.
  10. After letting the novel rest for a few days, I read though the whole thing one more time.

I just want to add that this is the way I edit. It may not suit you. Every author, and even every book, needs their own editing process.

So?

Having structure in your editing will both make it more effective, faster and more fun.

How do you guys edit?

Ps. I would love to hear about how it goes for all of you! How are you? I’ve missed you all!

 

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Irma

Irma

Irma is 14 years old and since she started taking her writing for serious she has written novels in many different genres. She has written two of the short stories in the anthology "Morden på Färgargården", which was published in 2017. She has also got prizes in competitions.

8 thoughts on “My editing process in steps

  1. Editing for me seems like so much fun!!! I was the same with my last books…only checking for grammar and never making any plot changes or rewriting certain scenes. That means that I’ve never actually edited before…but I think it will be a great experience! I already have an urge to mess around with everything and make it sound readable, haha 🙂 I don’t know, I just can’t wait.

    Thanks for sharing your structure! I will probably use something similar 🙂 It seems very thorough!

    1. Every story needs some more editing than grammar and spelling. But I think, that when you’ve just started writing and haven’t got that much experience in story telling, you just think that your story is perfect from the start. But the story will be so much better with some editing, and it’s so fun to see the story improve and get better.
      Good luck with editing!

  2. That looks like such a good structure! I’ve tried editing my writing before, but it did not go well, lol. My biggest problem was like you said, I just didn’t have a good structure in place. I might try adapting the one you mentioned–it might work for me! 🙂

    1. I found it so hard to edit, because I didn’t know what was good and what was bad. I just couldn’t see it in my own story.
      If that’s how it is for you, I would strongly recommend getting some beta readers (and not only one, but at least three or two). They will make you see what needs to be done. And from that feedback you get, you can build up a structure for your editing.
      Good luck:)

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