I’m supposed to edit this?

Now that NaNoWriMo is behind me, I have my first novel in my hands and I’m now faced with the inevitable next step; the editing process. To me, this is almost more of a daunting task than the writing was, I don’t even know where to start. I’ve read some suggestions but it seems like every writer has a different idea of how to edit, when to edit, and the sequence of the editing steps.

I started by printing the novel so I could hold it in my hands. This seemed like a better option than trying to read it on the computer screen and making edits on the fly. If I make notes in the margins, they’re not changed yet, they’re just suggestions. Then I can come back after my initial read through and see if I really think my notes apply.

One of the biggest problems I see ahead is dealing with the ending. I sort of chopped the end off in a cliche sort of way and I really want to continue with the story and end it properly. Unfortunately that probably means I’ll be adding a lot more to the story. I also know there are numerous occasions where I started a scene with more than one character and then forgot about everyone but the main character. Those areas are going to demand a major rework to fix my oversight.

I’ve read that the best way to edit is to focus on fixing the story first, then worrying about grammar and sentence structure and things of that nature. I plan on trying to tackle my story in this same manner. I certainly hope this is the most effective way of editing!

Anyone have any other good editing tips they’d like to share?

4 thoughts on “I’m supposed to edit this?

  1. I’m all about going with the flow when editing – no system, just look at the piece as a whole. That way you keep the long view and ensure every word choice is right, let alone the major plot elements. Might be a good idea to let it go out into the world, and let some trusted souls read it before you start poking at it, though? A bit of outside perspective and distance can help inject what’s missing. (Or so I hope, as my boyfriend dissects my novel today. 🙂 )