Editing to the End


Image courtesy of Nic McPhee (via Flickr)
Image courtesy of Nic McPhee (via Flickr)


I am very focused on editing the end of my story at the moment.

There is more work needed at the end than I initially thought there would be but I know why. It is all the little changes that I have made throughout the manuscript have resulted in bigger changes needed at the end. And the current ending isn’t very satisfying either.

I have turned to research (partly as a little procrastination) to look at what others are doing to edit manuscripts. There is so much information out there about editing, starting from brief outlines to whole books on the subject.

A key factor in editing is knowing what you are editing for, such as consistency in the story and characters, active voice, missing bits or characters. I found this link useful – and very comprehensive.

When it comes to how you work through this process is personal. I lack confidence so I’m not going to do one read through/edit and then send any story out into the world. I edit a chapter and then read through it again to make sure the changes made make sense and I haven’t accidently cut out half a sentence which has left the reader completely lost.

This isn’t the first edit of this manuscript either and possibly not the last. I’m reading each chapter and noting what needs to change. Then make the required changes, read through to check and then move to the next. Once I have the entire manuscript completed I will read it through as a whole to see if it works before sending it out to the beta reading group (some spaces still available).

The aim of the read through is to get an idea of the story from the reader’s point of view. To check that it is on the page and not just in my head. This isn’t as easy as I would want it to be and one of the reasons I’m using a beta reading group. This is because each reader brings their own interpretation to the story depending on their culture, experience, beliefs and emotions. So when I write and read the story I will read it differently to others but I want to make sure it is engaging.

Being able to send writing out for others to not only read but respond to takes a certain level of confidence. Can you edit your work on one pass through, or do you need several, like me?





One Reply to “Editing to the End”

  1. I could edit for Australia — if quantity were the defining factor of a good editor. My problem is I never know when to stop (which is why I am always reluctant to begin).

    If I ever get into print, I expect my contributor’s copy will end up covered in scratchings and notes.

Leave a Reply