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Let the editing begin!

So, I started looking over Lifelines seriously today, completely unsure of just how to tackle this editing thing. I’ve edited short stories before, but never a whole novel, so it’s time for another learning curve.

I think I’ve figured out how to begin though (well, obviously, because I have begun!) – first I’m reading through all the comments on it, making small changes and deleting the comments relating to them as I go. I’m also making a list of the bigger changes that need making, ones which impact throughout the novel rather than just in one scene, so that I can best decide how to tackle those.

Next, I’m going to finally split the thing into chapters! I always just write in scenes and this will be the first of my novels to find itself in chapters, hopefully it’s not too tricky to see where they should be.

Once that’s done, I can move on to… well, whatever comes next. Making those broader changes I guess, before finally tightening each scene and making sure everything is the best it can be (for now).

It’s a little scary. It sounds so simple in theory, but I’m sure it won’t be in practice.

Does anyone have handy hints they would like to offer?

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10 thoughts on “Let the editing begin!”

  1. Merrilee has a good idea regarding taking notes. Also, I’d suggest making a copy of the file containing the original draft. Make one file as a backup, so that you can use the other to play with. Then create a new file for your new draft. This is what I’m doing with Starbreaker, as I am in a similar situation to you.

    Also, if you’re using a Mac, I’d suggest taking a look at Scrivener; it’s an awesome tool for hammering out a story, outlining, etc. It allows you to keep research materials with the story, and can be used to export PDFs and Word files. I use it myself.

    Back to editing advice: when I began working on the second draft of Starbreaker, the first thing I did was print the first draft, put the printed draft in the biggest binder I could find at Staples, and read it from beginning to end. (Luckily, Staples sells pre-punched printer paper.) I looked for continuity errors, contradictions in characterization and description, obvious factual errors, and areas where I should do some research in order to make sure I know what the hell I’m writing about.

    Also, remember Chekhov’s Law: if you put a gun on the wall in Act I, make sure you fired it by the end of Act III. Of course, the law of Conservation of Detail cuts both ways: if you fired that gun in Act III, make sure you showed it hanging over the mantel in Act I or Act II.

    I hope some of this helps; I’m still a bit new to this myself.

    1. Very helpful! I love hearing how people do things πŸ™‚
      The way you did your second draft is very similar to how I did mine!
      I don’t use a Mac but have heard really good things about Scrivener, and it looks so pretty…. ah well.

  2. Well, I swear by my copy of Scrivener, and by my Macbook. Best laptop I’ve ever used, and I’ve had to work with a lot of other people’s laptops back on my old day job.

    1. Macs are pretty, used to use them back in my design days but I think hubby would laugh me out of the house if I so much as suggested we get one! lol gotta make do with what we have πŸ˜‰

      1. Has he tried one lately? Apple’s come a long way since switching to Intel-based hardware. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m sure it’s great, lol he’s just a snob like that πŸ˜‰ And I don’t think he’s tried one lately but there are simply not enough buttons on the mouse for his taste. I think that was his main irk, hehe, men.

    1. Actually, my Macbook doesn’t have any buttons. It’s trackpad is itself a button. Click with one finger, and it’s a regular click. Click with two, and it’s a right-click. To be honest, I have to get used to regular mice after using my Macbook too long. πŸ™‚

  4. I know you’ve heard/read all about how I revise so I won’t go into it here. If you’ve got anything specific you want help with let me know. πŸ™‚

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