5 Steps to Effective Editing

All writers enjoy the feeling of completing their first draft. Now the hard work starts.

It is suggested that you leave the novel for a week before commencing editing. This allows the process to be fresh in your mind.

1. Write Your First Draft

Through your first draft, write. If you can’t think of a word put a ? and carry on. Add marks where you know you have to extend passages. Don’t let anything stop you getting the story onto paper. Just write.

2. First Edit

It is advised that you try to read the 1st draft in as few sittings as you can. Edit the story for flow. Correct the holes in your plot. Those moments a character appears that you thought you had introduced earlier.

Take out the waffle and put in the description.

3. Grammar and Spelling

Work through the draft for spelling and grammar. I use two programs for this Hemingway editor and Grammarly. Both have free versions online. Although it might be a little time consuming, the time spent will be worth it.

4. Final Edit and Beta Reading

Leave your novel to sit for another week then go back through and correct the tiny areas that need it. For example, that sentence that isn’t flowing. At this point, I would send it to my beta readers. There are several groups on social media that help match up beta readers to authors. A beta reader should not be paid. However, a free printed copy of the book when it is released is a nice gesture.

5. Final Edit

Once you have the feedback from your beta readers it is time to do the final editing. Once this is complete you are ready to start querying for your book.

What methods do you use?

“To write is human, to edit is divine.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Published by Sam H Arnold

Sam H Arnold is a writer of True Crime, Parenting and Writing Tips articles. If you have enjoyed her work you might consider donating her a coffee on Ko-Fi. Links to this and all her other work can be found on the about me page.

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