It’s A Process

I’m in full on editing mode. So, while I hope you’re in full on free-book-getting mode, I am reminding myself of the rules for that/which, removing dangling prepositions, and generally wondering why, God, why, did English have to be my native tongue?

Also, this is where I like to condense all of my crippling self-doubt.  Like it says on the tin:  it’s a process.

Since I like lists, I assume you do, too, and this one’s a good ‘un.  Here’s how I tend to edit:

  1. Get stuck when you’re writing and go  back, read through, rewrite chunks, and generally raise Hell until you find Your Groove
  2. Get to the end of the damn manuscript
  3. Rewrite the parts you tacked on there just so you could say the first draft was done.
  4. Read through it all to make sure it all sounds like Your Groove
  5. Take a blunt instrument to several unwieldy paragraphs until they are doughy
  6. Roll them out like you’re making pie crust
  7. Make your favorite batch of cookies now that you’ve worked for days on your metaphorical pie crust, and can’t stop thinking about dessert
  8. Read through  for flow
  9. Read through for grammar
  10. Read through to make sure none of the sentences are longer than necessary
  11. Send to beta reader group one
  12. Panic that other humans are basically seeing what your mind looks like
  13. Bemoan your incompetence to your very supportive, patient partner
  14. Read through again for anything that stands out as foolish now that you’ve let people into your mind palace
  15. Make all the corrections that make sense from the beta reader group
  16. Prepare beta reader group two
  17. Realize you’ve written everything wrong, frantically find something you can polish in the manuscript
  18. Repeat steps 8-10
  19. And then repeat steps 12-15
  20. Do steps 18 and 19 until you’re out of beta readers and can recite your book line by line.  For me, this is after about 100 read-throughs.
  21. Panic while staring at the submit/publish button, so read through one more time and count things like quotation marks and the number of times you say “lanky.”
  22. YOU’RE DONE!

Boy, Step 22 is a great moment.  A super great, super terrifying moment. So don’t let the doubt win.  Remember:

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