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.

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

March Stats

Lists, Writing Life

Days I didn’t write

6

How many words

35,274

Projects I worked on

Morning and Evening

Roadkill: a Slaughter Chronicles short story

Changeling: a Heart of the Forest short story

The Firebird’s Daughter: a Heart of the Forest short story

Moon Shine

What I actually wanted to work on

Just Moon Shine

Goals for next month

Finish final draft and edit Moon Shine

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and finish the final draft of Here and Away

Submissions sent out

2

Submissions accepted/rejected

1 accepted 🙂

Notes

So the daily micro poem thing was severely impacted by traveling in March. I’m hoping to continue it but as the launch date for Moon Shine draws near and more traveling/moving on the horizon for May and June (nothing exciting, I promise, just time consuming) I’m going to be a lot less strict about missing days than I would like to be but right now the fiction has to come first. Writing good micro poems is harder than it looks and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve now been writing fiction non stop for over a year now or something else but poetry isn’t coming as easily to me as it was back in 2014. Go figure. But those will keep happening one way or another, they’re good mental exercises.

February Stats

Lists

Days I didn’t write:

8

How many words?

34,368

Project I worked on:

Here and Away

Lupercalia audiobook

The Promise

Resonance

What I actually wanted to work on:

Here and Away (mission accomplished, sort of)

Moon Shine

Goals for next month:

finish Draft 1 of Moon Shine

more Here and Away

more Resonance

more Havoc’s Moon

*

So I wrote 4,000ish more words than last month even though I wrote for less days. One of my goals was to write every day this month but I had a lot of home repair projects that were more time consuming than I originally thought and Mr. J came to visit me and while I thought I could write and spend time with my significant other, I put writing on the back burner to spend more time with him.

For March I plan to write every day.

List #3

Lists

Wounds:

Abrasion

Breach

Break

Bruise

Chunk

Cleave/Cleft

Contusion

Coach

Crater

Cut

Damage

Fissure

Fracture

Furrow

Gash

Gorge

Graze

Grief

Hole

Incision

Laceration

Lesion

Mutilation

Nip

Notch

Pain

Rent

Score

Scrape

Scratch

Slash

Slit

Split

Suck/ing

Tear

Trauma

Textures:

Blistered

Dripping

Ragged

Rotten

Wet