Writing Update aka How to Edit a Rough Draft

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So, this totally happened 🙂 I finished my rough draft for STRANGER THAN STARLIGHT!!! Now it’s onto editing!

I’m trying a new tactic this time. For previous works, I mostly edited as I went, reading and rereading sections before writing the next chapter. This worked really well for fixing plot holes early on and gave me a pretty clean first draft. But, it also took forever… More than a year just to get a complete the manuscript for THOSE HIDDEN. My second novel took just around six months to complete this way.

This novel went much quicker. I did more pre-writing planning, so essentially my plot was mapped out ahead of time (minus some tweaks). Started during NaNoWriMo, it took me a total of four months to complete my rough draft, though its a bit messier than my previous ones. To combat this, I’ve broken down my editing plan:

  • Full Read Through

I’m beginning the whole process by reading my manuscript through front to back without making any changes. This has been murder for me, since I’m an editor at heart, but it gives me a better idea of the story flow. I’m taking notes as I go. Lots of notes…

  • Story Mapping

Once I’ve finished my read-through, I plan to tear the story apart. But I need a plan of attack first so I don’t make a mess of things. This is where all those comments I made on mood, stakes, rising and falling action, etc, will come in handy.

  • Large Scale Edits

Time to chop this baby apart! Is this chapter too slow or doesn’t move the plot?Chop it. Certain character not fully realized? Either bulk them up or chop them out. You get the picture.

  • Chapter Level Edits

After I have the main plot solidified, I can go back to look at each chapter by itself. I want to make sure that each one has specific purpose and movement.

  • Line Edits

Once the story is tight, it’s time to go through line by line to check for flow, word repetition, grammar, etc… And once this is done, then it’s time to search out beta readers!

So, wish me luck! And if anyone out there is interested in beta reading a YA space opera in another month or two, let me know. I won’t say more about it now, but here’s a novel aesthetic teaser 🙂

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Happy Writing!

3 thoughts on “Writing Update aka How to Edit a Rough Draft

  1. I’m terrible when it comes to editing my own work. I’d always loathed editing/revising because of the effort that goes into it – so that resulted in quick rewrites. Lately, though, I’ve started to realise that, if you don’t want to put the effort in, then it won’t become the result you want it to be (and that is what comes with writing). It also comes from my current WIPs. One is particularly atrocious with rushed pacing and vague character direction, so recognising that it will require a lot of work (and better editing, such as read-throughs and note-taking and re-outling, as you suggest) it does actually bring some excitement too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a TON of work, but when it finally comes out right, it’s so worth it! I’ve figured out I actually need to draw up some maps too while I’m at it :/ Good luck with your WIPs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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