The last time I edited a novel, the process drove me so nutty that I dreamed of pages of red ink, and I’d wake up in the middle of the night quoting all the horrible horrible parts of my novel that had to be removed, hacked apart, rewritten.
Deep breath. Zen.
This time things are going more sanely, and it’s largely because I wrote against an outline. I hate to admit to being a reformed pantster, but if outlining helps me write faster and edit less, then I’m sticking to it! Away with you, complaints!
My goal this time is to do 3 passes instead of 11… 12… *cough* I lost count.
1. Structure and character edits. Rearranging things, and double checking if scenes are necessary. Fixing troublesome characterization. Rewriting whatever needs to be smoothed over or changed.
2. Incorporating feedback from beta reads.
3. The final grammar / poetry / rhythm polish.
That’s it. Simple.
If there’s a theme to 2014 it would be that: simplification, getting rid of excess, so I have more time and energy for everything and everyone I love, and being healthier.
3 steps. Let’s see if it actually works out that way. I’m 8 chapters into step 1 and the plan’s still looking good so far…
Do you have a method you stick to when you edit, or do you just dive in?