This morning I was assigned an editor to ensure my book, The Wrong Side of Twenty-Five will be fit for publication by December 28th. Right now she’s reading my manuscript and I can’t wait to start working together. My book has been edited once already, so I thought while I wait for my final editing to begin, I would give you my 5 tips for editing. And I don’t mean ‘show don’t tell’ and other writing rules, but the process of editing itself.
- Self-editing is hard and won’t ever be all you need to give your manuscript it’s best chance, but it’s good to read through your manuscript out loud and listen for clunky sentences and continuity errors. Editing isn’t simply fixing typos and silly mistakes. It’s important to make sure your writing flows and your story makes sense.
- If possible, find someone else to help. If you can’t afford a professional (although if you believe in your book I really encourage you to borrow and beg for the funds), try to avoid asking a friend to do the job. A friend is unlikely to be as ruthless as you need them to be. Hell, they might not even edit it. They might regret ever agreeing in the first place and tell you it’s great to avoid the huge workload you’ve given them. Perhaps you could join a writing group and ask a like-minded stranger to help you out.
- Don’t take editing personally. It can be gut wrenching to give your precious baby manuscript out and receive it back, tainted with lines and crosses and comments. Even famous authors have editors. There’s always room for improvement.
- Don’t rush. Take your time to polish up your manuscript. After all the work you’ve put in, do you want to submit a hastily-edited manuscript to publishers only to be rejected or self-publish and find out via terrible reviews that you made mistakes? Wouldn’t you rather spend an extra month giving your manuscript the tlc it deserves?
- However you edit, it’s going to be hard work. Remember to take care of yourself. I can assure you from experience that you can totally edit with one hand and eat cake with another. Happy editing!
Are you going through the editing process? How are you finding it?