Discussion: How Do You Edit?19:00
I’m editing again at the moment, so of course I’m thinking a lot about the editing process. Mine is evolving all the time as I try new things and as each new book has different needs. For example, in the past, whenever I’ve edited a draft, I’ve edited it straight through, just like how I do when I write them, fixing whatever major issues it had, and making notes about any problems I discovered partway through that affected whatever I had edited before, leaving those changes until the next draft. Now I do a lot more going back and forth, fixing the draft as much as possible before leaving it, trying to perfect the plot as it stands so there is less work for next time.
I’ve written about my editing process on the blog before, and if you’d like to see my humorous rendition of the way I edit, I highly recommend you check out my post HERE. But basically, my editing process goes a little something like this:
- Read through the draft and make copious notes about what needs to be fixed
- Read through notes and brainstorm fixes to problems
- Actually edit
- Do several passes of problem areas if new issues crop up (this is a new step for me)
- When I’m happy I’ve done as much as I can, I leave it for a month or so, then rinse and repeat
What I don’t do is fuss over the language in the first drafts. I like to get my plot and characters hammered out first, and then worry about making it all pretty when the storyline actually hangs together (and boy doesn’t that end up taking a while). But while that’s how I edit, it’s probably not your process, so today I thought we could discuss editing processes.
Do you make a single pass through your book, or do you go back and forth fixing problems as you discover more? Do you like to make sure the text reads smoothly as you go, or do you save that for later drafts? What does your overall process look like? How many passes does it usually take for you to get that pesky plot in order? And what piece of advice would you give to someone (i.e. me) going into a new round of edits? Let’s discuss!