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:
- Get stuck when you’re writing and go back, read through, rewrite chunks, and generally raise Hell until you find Your Groove
- Get to the end of the damn manuscript
- Rewrite the parts you tacked on there just so you could say the first draft was done.
- Read through it all to make sure it all sounds like Your Groove
- Take a blunt instrument to several unwieldy paragraphs until they are doughy
- Roll them out like you’re making pie crust
- 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
- Read through for flow
- Read through for grammar
- Read through to make sure none of the sentences are longer than necessary
- Send to beta reader group one
- Panic that other humans are basically seeing what your mind looks like
- Bemoan your incompetence to your very supportive, patient partner
- Read through again for anything that stands out as foolish now that you’ve let people into your mind palace
- Make all the corrections that make sense from the beta reader group
- Prepare beta reader group two
- Realize you’ve written everything wrong, frantically find something you can polish in the manuscript
- Repeat steps 8-10
- And then repeat steps 12-15
- 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.
- 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.”
- YOU’RE DONE!
Boy, Step 22 is a great moment. A super great, super terrifying moment. So don’t let the doubt win. Remember: