Editing Part 1
What’s this All About? Editing in a Nutshell
If you don’t do any editing, don’t expect people to read your work.
Unless you normally write six-word horror stories, you are going to need an editor. Everybody needs this service. However, you should edit your work before handing it over to a professional. In particular, if you are just coming off NaNoWriMo, you need to trim the fat. Because we all pad in order to make word count for NaNoWriMo. Don’t be ashamed of this! And a lot of it might turn out to be the good kind of fat. In particular, if it helps you introduce a new and interesting character, or set a new scene, or transition a story line properly, it can be terrific. But you still need to go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Everybody needs to do this. And there are no exceptions.
Sometimes, you actually add words in order to edit a story. And that is perfectly fine. If a description was rushed, or a scene feels forced, you may need to add words. In particular, if you wrote your story with placeholders such as: fix this later or add transition here, you must address those problems!
Are you wondering why this post was not added in November? It’s because editing requires some ‘leave it alone’ time. Frankly, this is too early. Because I highly recommend leaving your work for a full month before tackling editing. Just, find something else to do during the month of December. Between the holidays and the end of the quarter and the end of the tax year (and up here in New England, you might get some snow to shovel), I’m sure you can think of something.
Okay, Now We’ll Really Get Started
So you’ve set your work aside for a month. Your first job is to read your manuscript through from start to finish. Want to take notes? Sure. Or not. This is your show. But read all 50,000 or 100,000 or whatever words.
In the next post, I’ll show you where to go from here.