K. LambEveryone has their own way of going through the editing process. For me, I obsess over it.
I will go through the story maybe once or twice on the screen to change any major points that I see. After that I start printing out the manuscript—let me just apologizes now for my lack of being green when it comes to editing. There is just something about being able to edit on paper versus a computer screen that brings errors more in to focus.
With a red pen I will go through the manuscript and mark any changes. Afterwards, I will go make the necessary changes in the computer. Next, think of it as washing your hair: Wash, Rinse & Repeat! This cycle will continue until I can completely go through the story and find no errors and no content I want to change. I will then read the story aloud and see how it sounds to my ear. Does anything sound clunky? Does it not flow properly? Oops---better change it now! I will then repeat this process. When I am finally satisfied, I will send the manuscript off to my editor/proofreader.
When it comes back with THEIR red marks and love notes, I start implementing those changes. It is important to listen to your editor. However, I don’t always take every bit of advice. Sometimes there may be a scene that I am adamant about not changing and I’ll leave it. After all, it is YOUR story. Your editor is responsible for giving you their best advice. You are responsible for the end result. You choose what is appropriate and what is not.
After those changes are made, I begin the process all over! It is amazing how an editor’s comments may make you look differently upon certain aspects of your book. I will re-work and re-write sometimes just because time has passed and a new idea has struck. When I can no longer find any additional changes I want to make I will send it back to my editor for one final review prior to publication.
What a lot of new writers do not understand is that the editing process is much more difficult than the writing process. Are you on target for your age group? Are you keeping the same POV throughout? Are you in the same tense? All things you will start to pickup on during the editing process. Your editing skills will also improve as you become more used to the process.
One of the biggest mistakes you can do when publishing a book is releasing it before it is properly edited. It isn’t likely you’ll catch 100% of the errors in a book, even after an editor has gone through it, however, one of the biggest frustrations to a reader is finding a novel that has errors and inconsistencies littered throughout it.
Remember, it is your reputation on the line. How do you want to be perceived by the world?