Editing a manuscript

I signed my contract with The Wild Rose Press for my third novel, “Impending Love and Lies” in my Impending Love series last week and have been working on edits all weekend.  I thought I would share some of my editing process.

The first thing I do is look over the changes my editor has marked on the manuscript and correct anything she’s noted.  I also go through the changes my beta reader (my brother) has given me and clarify things he didn’t understand or thought should be altered.

Then begins the real work.  I begin on page one and read the entire manuscript, making corrections and checking for inconsistencies or changes I have been thinking about since I submitted my manuscript to my editor.

I also double check facts, names, and punctuation AGAIN.

I love the search tool and use it a lot.  I decided to change the name of a minor character because I use his younger brother as a major character in a later book.  It finds the name, and I replace it with the new name.  A word of warning – don’t replace ALL.  If the word you’re searching for is part of a larger word, it will replace those letters, too.  I do one at a time to be safe.

Then I set the manuscript aside for a few days and start at the beginning again.  When I stop finding errors or changes, I send it back to my editor.

I spent the time waiting for my manuscript to be approved for publication to work on the final three books in the series.  I knew I needed to have more than a paragraph describing the characters and main plot.

I wrote about 150 pages for the fourth book, “Impending Love and Capture” and have a pretty good idea where the story takes the characters.  I wrote about 75 pages for the final two stories, and those pages will serve as an outline for each one.

My first draft tends to be rough with an emphasis on dialogue, plot scenes, and threading the problem through the story to make sure it will carry the characters from beginning to end.

Then I add detail and history in my second round.  Once I reach 300 pages, I’m more selective about what goes into my story and start cutting words, paragraphs, and even pages to maintain the focus on the story problem and the main characters.  I usually save any major deletions in a scrap folder in case I’ve made a mistake and want to use them later.

Like writing, everyone does editing a little differently.  But don’t rush it.  My editor gives me about a month for the initial edits, but I usually don’t take that long.  But if I miss mistakes, then I have to correct them in the second or third round of edits.  I prefer to catch most of them the first time around, so I’ll edit until I’m satisfied it’s perfect.  Even then, there’s always one more thing to change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s