What I am learning from editing

What I am learning from editing

What I am editing:

I am working on the first book of a new full length novel series. This is a medieval fantasy and a little different to what I have done before.

I am a little behind where I would like to be. My schedule was thrown out a little by pushing Oldra into this year. But I think I can make it up.


What I’m trying to do:

Strengthen the story. That is ensure the plot works and fits with the following books; ensure the characters are who I want them to be (although they tend to be who they want to be). More of the detail will be focused on next edit.

I want to ensure that the characters have depth and their own voice. Most do but others need a little work. I’m also thinking more about the setting. In my first draft I have lots of “rooms” or “spaces” or a rough idea of where they were in the grounds or castle. This edit is about fleshing out the bones. There is still a lot of work to go, and a lot of moving around the story and then I’ll complete another read-through and mark-up. Then it all starts again.


How well it is working:

It is coming together reasonably well. There are some major gaps that I’m trying to fill in as I go; too many characters don’t have a name (although we don’t want a Mr Martin style cast of thousands). The characters are working fairly well on their own already and the plot is reasonably strong, even with the gaps currently in the storyline. It is hard work. But I know the importance of editing.


My editing process:

I am just slogging on. I pick up where I last was, reread a page to get back into the story and take it sentence by sentence. There are scenes I’m moving around, chapters I’m combining. Some of this is still rough, but then I rework through what I pull together so that it makes sense and I’m not refixing on the next edit.

My plan is to complete this edit, read through and then repeat several times before it is at the point I can send to the proof reader. I am considering having someone look at more of a structural edit for this one, but it depends how it goes. It is certainly worth someone else reading through the manuscript, especially when self publishing.

In The Mark of Oldra, my proof reader picked up that I referred to someone by name before she learnt his name. No matter how many times you check your own work you can’t pick up everything.


There is still a long way to go but I love all the characters, even the bad ones and so I want to ensure their story is the best it can be. It will get easier as it goes. Then I will need to start thinking blurbs and covers.

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