How To Edit A Novel

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How To Edit A Novel – If you’re like most writers I work with, getting to the end of a first draft is both exciting and terrifying. You’ve probably been working on this story for x months (or maybe even years!) and all you want is for the story you wrote to (finally) match your vision. But how do you get there?

Taking the time to write your draft will help you get away from your story. This allows you to return to the revision process with more realism… and makes editing your messy pages much easier.

How To Edit A Novel

How To Edit A Novel

Once you’ve taken some time off from your work, it’s time to read what you’ve written. And yes, this will probably piss you off, but hang in there!

Writealot: Book Editing

The key to this first step is not to make any changes to your manuscript as you read it. We recommend that you look at the big picture of your story (and note any new ideas you have or changes you want to make) before making any changes. It will save you time in the long run, trust me!

If you know you’re going to struggle with this part, you can print your draft, export it to PDF and read it on your computer or put it on your Kindle. You can also use a text-to-speech program like NaturalReaders or the Read Aloud feature in Microsoft Word that will actually read your story to you. Basically, I want you to do everything possible to avoid editing while reading.

Now, you might be thinking… What notes should I take?! Or any new ideas that come to mind!?

If you want to take notes or jot down new ideas, go for it! For some people, it’s easy to understand the larger scope of their history and take notes. For other people it is not so easy and they prefer to read and take notes later. Do what works for you!

How To Edit A Book Yourself

So after you’ve read the entire draft and taken all your notes, I want you to download everything you’ve written. Get rid of ideas that no longer work and organize the rest into a manageable revision plan that doesn’t feel overwhelming.

By now you should have a good idea of ​​the story you’re working with or what’s in your actual pages and a list of things you want to tackle in your next project.

Now, to tackle your next projects, and I say projects because there will be many, I suggest breaking your revisions into different phases. With each new project, you’ll face a different side of your story so you can focus your attention and use your creative skills effectively and efficiently.

How To Edit A Novel

Let’s now start each of the four stages of editing from the big picture, “Story Level” editing.

Tap037, How I Edit The Outline Of A Novel Before Writing The First Draft

Story Level editing is where you take your first draft and turn it into a second draft. This is where you’ll focus on high-level things that affect the overall story, such as story, character development, world-building, theme, and more.

At this stage, you can spend more time on your characters, move scenes to add them in an order that suits the story, add new scenes, delete scenes, important details or world-building aspects Include the theme and your content. like this.

As you can see, this step isn’t about word choice or dialogue or any of the smaller details. When you know your story is working, we’ll get to those things eventually.

For what it’s worth, I want you to go into this step of the review process knowing that you need to make changes. Even if you’ve planned or mapped out a lot of things in advance, it’s unrealistic to expect all of these big things to be ‘right’.

Secrets To Editing Success

That’s why you’ll want to spend most of your time on this early “Story Level” or editing transition. So you’ll want to go through the DIY editing checklist, assess what you already have in your project, troubleshoot, and then fix.

You can repeat this step as needed to get your project where it needs to be before approaching the next level of revisions.

If you can’t see your story objectively or feel overwhelmed at this stage, now is the time to reach out to a developmental editor or book trainer who can guide you through this type of big-picture editing.

How To Edit A Novel

So this is the first stage – editing the “Story Layer” – where you will focus on the big picture, the building blocks of your story. Let’s go to the second stage.

Diy Developmental Edit — Burgeon Design And Editorial

Scene Level editing is where you go one level deeper and focus on each of your scenes. You’ll still be thinking about big-picture elements here—things like structure, character development, world-building, point of view, and so on. — but it’s more about how those elements play out in each scene than the big picture of your story.

So, as you can see, we’re looking at some of the same topics from the story-level review, but now scene-by-scene. Again, this step is not about sentence structure, word choice, syntax, or anything like that. This will be done in the next phase.

If you’re handling your reviews yourself, now would be a good time to stop and get some outside feedback from beta readers and/or a development editor. If you have the resources, you can work with both the development editor and beta players, which is my preference, but I know it won’t be in the cards for everyone, and that’s fine.

At the very least, I recommend having your manuscript reviewed by an editorial editor to make sure you’re on the right track and that there are no major issues before proceeding to the next stages of editing.

Wordrake Edits A Classic Novel │ Infographic By Wordrake

If you want to work with beta readers, I highly recommend The Spun Yarn. I am not affiliated or affiliated with The Spun Yarn, but many authors I work with use them for beta reading and the feedback reports provided by The Spun Yarn are very helpful and informative.

In any case, after receiving external feedback, we recommend incorporating it into your project before moving on to the next step.

If you’re going to self-publish, you’ll need to submit your draft to at least two more rounds of editing: line editing (what I call “page-level” editing) and copy editing (what I call) editing. “page level”). inclusive”). You can read more about these two steps below, but don’t proceed with either step until you’re sure of your story.

How To Edit A Novel

If you are going to publish traditionally, you can start researching agents after changing the “Stage Level” IF you feel good about your story. I only recommend this because (in most cases) if you are selected by a traditional publisher, they will go through another rough edit, line edit, and copy edit to get your book ready for print.

Blank Page To Final Draft Ebook By Bryn Donovan

So that’s the second phase: Scene-by-Scene Editing, where you’ll still focus on the big-picture elements, but scene-by-scene. We now go to the third stage.

Page level editing is where you want to focus line by line to make your scenes as tight as possible. We all know that great writing isn’t just about telling an interesting story, it’s also about finding the most effective language to tell that story, so that’s exactly what we’re focusing on at this stage.

You shouldn’t make any big picture or structural changes at this point, but it can happen. To avoid this, make sure you spend enough time on big picture changes (story level and scene level).

Also, if you need help with this step, here you can work with a line editor that can help you solve some of these “page level” problems.

Self Editing For Fiction Writers: How To Be Your Own Critic — Jenny Bravo

So that’s the third stage: “page-level” editing, where you expand your story, page by page, to tighten it up and make your writing shine. Now we go to the fourth step.

“Page-level” editing is where you focus on strengthening the sentences. Then you correct spelling or grammar mistakes and make sure your style and voice are consistent throughout the story. At this point, you shouldn’t make any general changes to your story, but you may find some “page-level” issues because they are closely related.

Since this is not my area of ​​expertise, I’ll give you some of my favorites for this level of editing:

How To Edit A Novel

At this stage, it’s helpful to check (and understand) your novel’s reading score. Your story’s readability score tells you what level of knowledge a person needs to easily read your writing. Here’s a quick one

How To Edit Your Novel: 8 Simple Steps

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