Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Make it Perfect

I have been lost in a sea of edits and synopsis writing the past few weeks, and so have neglected this poor blog.  Though it's time to stop neglecting it and dust it off a bit.  I want this to be a place to record this whole writing process.  For myself, for others in the same spot, for my children one day if they're so interested. 

I've read you're supposed to take time away from your book once you finish the first draft, so you can look at it with fresh eyes once you begin.  I have trouble with this, because I'm so anxious to dive in to make it perfect.  But I always force myself to take just a few days off.

Once I've done that, I go through three edits.  The first is a general overview of things, big and small, that stick out at me.  The second edit is for big story concepts that need work.  Scenes that need to be developed, characters that need more work, making sure each scene fits into my story and message.  The third edit is for small things, phrases I overuse and spelling and grammar mistakes.

Once I've done three edits, I give the book to a few beta readers.  They look it over for feedback.  I make each of their edits, then read it through one more time myself. This time I read it backwards, starting from the last chapter, to really focus on the words.  Then I'm done.  The process for me takes a few weeks, maybe a few months.  But once I get a story in my head, I can't stop till it's done, so I forgo a lot of things in life to get it just right.

Also, personally, I cannot read it on the computer, I have to print it out and read it from paper.  It just helps me concentrate better.  Once I've marked it up, I'll go back and make the changes on the computer.

And that's my editing process.  What's yours?