Editing

What to do with your first developmental edit from a real editor

Brendan Raven Hill Dustbin - Black
If you’re like most writers, your first draft likely belongs in a trash bin. But don’t despair. A professional editor can help you turn your garbage into a work of art. | Brendan Raven Hill Dustbin – Black (Photo credits: West Elm)

Picture this. You’ve just completed your first novel and are ready to hire an editor to give it a swift once-over before you publish it. You call an editor who comes highly recommended, and she asks you what kind of edit you are looking for. Do you want a developmental edit? A copy edit? Something in between?

You’re not quite sure, so she asks you if this will be your first edit. You inform her that you have edited it at least five times yourself. Plus, a couple of your friends read it and thought it was pretty cool. Your mom, especially, loved it. Based on this info, your new editor recommends that you put your novel through a developmental edit first. The following is a list of 27 long and crazy steps that many first-timers go through when their first novel manuscript reaches this phase in the writing process: Continue reading “What to do with your first developmental edit from a real editor”

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Blogging

Tell me about your new book

Le Festival des Pot Holes....
Some days, an outside job filling pot holes sounds more appealing than an inside job filling plot holes. | Le Festival des Pot Holes…. (Photo credit: caribb)

I don’t know about you, but I sure haven’t been blogging much since the start of the new year. What I have been doing is plugging away at two novels in progress, both of which seem to grow farther from completion with each new plot hole I fill. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?

You know, sometimes revising a novel is kinda like when you think you’re just going to quickly replace a bathtub in your 100-year-old house only to realize that by removing the old bathtub, you have now exposed a whole host of other problems you didn’t know existed, including rotten floor boards and termite ravished support beams. Yeah, revision can be a lot like remodeling a bathroom in a house that maybe should have been condemned a long time ago…

Needless to say, blogging hasn’t been as much on my mind lately as it once was. Continue reading “Tell me about your new book”

Novel Writing

Revising one chapter at a time

English: Manuscript fragment from Chapter 14 o...
Do you ever wonder if fragments of your notebooks will someday end up on display in some museum? | English: Manuscript fragment from Chapter 14 of Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I admit it. Revising my rough manuscript is intimidating. For a few weeks now, I have been researching my general topic and thinking about starting my revisions. However, I have not actually done much writing. I have come up with a ton of new ideas, but I have not written many of them down. For the past few weeks, I have been more of a thinker than a doer.

Several times, I have opened my master file on my computer, or picked up the hard copy I printed out and thought about revising. But, where do you even begin? My first draft is full of plot holes and logistical errors. My recent research dictates that I completely change a few major elements of my story. Any way you look at it, it is a hot mess. There is so much work left to do, it is overwhelming. Continue reading “Revising one chapter at a time”

Setting, Writers on Writing

Writing the second draft

The Story Thus Far
My story thus far is full of dialog but lacking in the description department. How about yours? | The Story Thus Far (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy first day of autumn!

I am currently working my way through draft #2 of the novel I wrote for the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. What goes into a second draft probably varies from one writer to the next. Dialog and action come easy for me. Description? Not so much. I can do description, but it simply does not pour out of me as dialog does. For me, description takes a lot of work.

When writing my first draft, I literally listen to the voices in my head and write down what they say. I am nothing more than a glorified court reporter. The result is what I think is an exciting story that is set in the empty expanse of Vagueland. While the dialog thrills me, the average reader would be lost in an attempt to determine where and when, exactly, this story takes place. I can picture it, but I haven’t yet built it on the page. Continue reading “Writing the second draft”

Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge

Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!

black walnut tree
Have you looked outside lately? Mother Nature keeps reminding me that summer is almost over. These black walnuts will be on the ground soon.

September 21st is the last day of summer, as well as the official last day of our Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. I don’t know about you, but I feel good knowing I have written an entire story from start to finish. Now, on to revisions!

After letting my first draft simmer for a couple of weeks, I finally sat down this week and started working on my second draft. Many famous authors (Stephen King comes to mind) say your second draft should always be shorter than your first. They advise cutting out unnecessary words, which is great advice. But I don’t think that is going to work for me. Continue reading “Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!”