And we got on quite well, really, for the vision I gave my father of my life was exactly the vision in which I myself most desperately needed to believe. For I am—or I was—one of those people who pride themselves on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through.

A Commonplace Book

James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, 1956

My Editing Process

Writing Life

As I’m winding down the final edits for Moon Shine (goes live in 12 days) I thought I’d compile a list of steps my draft goes through when it becomes “done.”

1. Draft/Edit: it can feel frustrating at times but really it’s the most fun part of the process.

2. Finish Draft: then put it down for a week to let it simmer.

3. Proof-read + make notes of repetitive words.

4. Make corrections

5. Copy edit #1

6. Proof-read again + fix dialogue

7. Read draft aloud + Copy edit #2

8. Proof-read #3 + find continuity issues

9. Add to fill plot holes

10. Read aloud again

11. Take list from step 3 and use thesaurus. Use the fuck out of thesaurus.

12. Proof-read #4 fixing problems from notes taken during steps 1-11

13. Read aloud #3 + Copy edit #3

14. Give manuscript to final beta reader (Mr. J)

15. Re-read manuscript specifically focusing on using correct names/descriptions/actions/mechanics of firearms (if applicable).

16. Final read aloud

17. DONE

Note: Reading your draft aloud is the best thing you can do for editing, in my opinion. I catch so many grammatical errors and passive voice issues when I read my work aloud.

Note 2: Throughout the editing process I look for A) filter words, B) repetition, and C) passive voice

Note 3: Throughout the editing process I make notes every time I re-read the manuscript. I write down questions I have about setting changes and character development. I also write down/highlight all plot holes and anything I think is boring.

Note 4: I do not spend money on a freelance editor and copy editor. I have an MFA in Creative Writing. I do all my edits myself because I know how (feel free to argue with me in the comments if you’ve read my work) but I do use beta readers to gauge plot pacing, character development, and identify possible sensitivity issues.

Note 5: As important as it is to work consistently on your manuscript (especially if you have a deadline) it is equally important to give your book some down time. I try to take days off whenever I feel myself getting frustrated with a scene or when I feel myself over-editing. Remember, writing is supposed to be fun. You’re doing something you love, don’t burn yourself out. Also, taking breaks lets new ideas emerge and distance allows you a fresh perspective.

Books Read April 2019

Lists

(I’m including short stories in here because I am incapable of finishing a short story collection in a month.)

Finished:

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Francesca Lia Block

The Collector: Titanborn Universe Book Zero: Rhett Bruno

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

A friend’s amazing zombie book

The Beast in the Cave: HP Lovecraft

The Alchemist: HP Lovecraft

The Tomb: HP Lovecraft

Dagon: HP Lovecraft

The Big Flash: Norman Spinrad

Circus of the Damned: Laurell K. Hamilton (re-read)

Goblin Slayer vol. 3: Kumo Kagyu

Currently Reading:

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Desperation: Stephen King

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

Started:

Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh (re-read)

Double Dead: Chuck Wendig

Favorites:

1. Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

2. Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh

April Stats

Lists

Days I didn’t write:

3

How many words?

48,035

Projects I worked on:

Moon Shine

Here and Away

Morning and Evening

Havoc’s Moon

What I actually wanted to work on:

Here and Away

Goals for next month:

Publish Moon Shine

Work on Havoc’s Moon

Submissions sent out:

1

Submissions accepted:

1

Submissions rejected:

N/A