The Writing Life

Writing Blog: Day 2 – Researching ALL THE THINGS (editing)

Welcome back for another day in my writing process bubble!


As some of you already know, I’m in the EDITING portion of my manuscript. I spent over a year working on my first book from Idea to First Draft. After sending it to a freelance editor, I walked away from book one and took my editor’s advice to work on a different project. Okay, I didn’t quite walk away from the story immediately.

First, I was completely baffled with the reality that I had actually written a book. More specifically, That. Book. The book I cried, laughed and bled with and for. The book that went through big changes and makeovers before it settled into the official first draft. Then came the fact that I missed my characters and their story. I wasn’t ready to walk away. I wasn’t ready to have anyone else’s voice but theirs. So, what did Des do? She began outlining and ultimately writing chapter one of book two.

Luckily, I saw previously from an author I enjoy how that is not recommended. And it makes sense why. The editing process butchers your first draft. So many things could change like plot points, scene rearrangement, characters may get cut off, etc. Writing the next book before editing and having a final draft of the first would only be wasting your time. You’ll have to go back and change everything you wrote in book two. For that, might as well work on something completely new.


Fast forward many months.

I recently got back my first batch of edits for draft one. Then, Desiree pretended they weren’t there. Desiree felt her eye twitch at all the suggested changes that already caused her brain to hurt and heart to weep. Desiree was overwhelmed at the prospect of holding a baby mammoth of a manuscript for the first time and ripping it apart with red ink. Desiree clearly lost her damn mind because she is talking about herself in third person.

Yesterday, I introduced you all to the Kraken (aka. Baby Mammoth) and taught you all a valuable lesson. Unless you plan to further lose your mind, don’t attempt to print your manuscript on an ancient, slow as hell printer unless you have the patience of a silent monk.

I don’t know if anyone has caught on yet, but I am procrastinating the shit out of this. Granted, I’m actually doing something productive that will benefit my editing but still, I’m full on dragging this out like a mother. Today, I took to Youtube to add to my ‘Editing Process Research’. I actually found some amazing nuggets and I don’t regret a single procrastinating second!

Again, I’ll say it. WRITING IS HARD. And even harder when you’re learning as you go. I’m sure when it comes time to edit my second book project, it won’t feel as daunting and otherworldly. Yes, otherworldly, like a magical world of unicorns that only seasoned authors know and understand and all you want is to be one of the cool kids who are also in the ‘know’. I haven’t felt in the ‘know’ for over a year hence the stalling tactics called DENIAL!

Researching the editing process for some reason was harder than searching for the concept/idea to drafting process. As an aspiring writer, you want to feel confident in what you’re doing, what you’re expected to do and how you’re expected to do it. There are rules to writing a book. Sure, you can break them, but as with anything of the sort, you first need to learn the rules before you can know how to break them. Hopefully, this turns out to be helpful to the writer out there in the imaginary world of words who feels lost just like I did.

Some of the tips at a glance:

Disclaimer: There may be some repetition among some of these tips, but each source provided a different, fresh look into the idea.


Four Stages in Editing Your Manuscript:

1. Line Editing – Read it out loud and make sure every sentence is the best it can be. While reading the sentence, if it makes you cringe, REWRITE it. 

2. Copy Editing – Involves typos, yes, but also is where you may catch issues with inconsistencies, or dates/timeline that may not add up. This person highly recommended a professional for this stage.

3. Proofreading – Catching any final mistakes. Having a physical copy for this stage is recommended.

4. Beta Readers – You need them! When proofreading your book, you’ll only see what you want to see on the page. Get fresh eyes!

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While reading your hard copy, any place you stumble or need to reread, EDIT IT. If you stumble, you bet your readers will.

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What are the different types of edits for novels? – Answered by a Junior Editor

1. Proofreading – They check over the grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The technical aspect.

2. Line Editing – Here, editors go through your prose, sentence by sentence. They help make the sentences sound better. They make the prose flow better and sound more cohesive. They clean up the writing so it reads easily. This stage does not affect the story at all.

3. Copy Editing – Different people interpret this term differently. Some refer to this the same as a proofread. Sometimes a Copy Editor refers to someone who proofreads AND line-edits. (make sure if you’re paying for this service, you clarify what you will be receiving from this stage of editing) 

4. Developmental Edits – Focuses on the BIG PICTURE. The flow of the story, the plot line, characters, what things can be improved to further improve the story as a whole.

Tips by:

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Those were just little snippets from some of the videos I will be sharing below. In addition to the two videos I will be sharing on Editing, I will be adding–what I found quite fascinating–HarperCollins publishing’s ‘Editing Process’ within their different departments. Kind of cool to see how it would work going through the Traditional Publishing route.

Enjoy below! I’ll see you soon with more from my writing bubble!




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