I’m going to hold my hands up here, I thought that my 2nd ( or would it be 3rd?) draft would be finalised by now. Unfortunately, I was ill during the new year and sitting in front of my computer to type was not a good idea. That being said, I am a good way through my type up so I think it’s more of a case of sooner rather than later. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t been taking advantage of my first edits. Even when I’ve not been typing, I have been thinking of the plot and if it’s gone in the right direction.
If you’ve not already read the introduction to my writing series on here. Head on over to see how my writing journey started.
You Might be Thinking, How Did I Make My First Edits?
The short version? I printed out the copy and read through it. Twice. Like I said, the very short version. This was a lot easier with the novella that I’m working on than I’d say it would to do this will a 100k novel manuscript. But I think it is the best way that works for me. The total time it took me from start to finish was 15 days. I have just under 34k words of my current manuscript, so I would expect that time to triple with my next.
On my first reading of it, I wanted to make sure that the plot flowed. I needed to know that what had been written made sense, and that someone would potentially want to read this when it’s finished. My answer to this was yes. It was a nice, pleasant surprise to realise that I enjoyed this. As I have had many doubts since I started it. There are some areas that seem weak and need some work doing to them. However, the overall feel for me was positive. That meant I could move on to the tidying up read through.
My Second Read Through
I’ve always found that I write best in a notebook, and then typing up my words and editing the structure and flow. This is what I am currently doing. However, I decided to switch things up a little with this. On my initial read through, I’d noticed that I’d made some glaring inconsistencies within the plot. So on my second read through I tidied these up.
It was on this read through that I also tidied up some of the paragraphs. There were a lot of unnecessary words, and very similar paragraphs. In a way, I’m glad that these first edits have picked up so much that can be changed. It shows that I’m not being completely blind to my writing, and I can admit when things need changing.
I’m not going to lie, the amount of red I put through the printed out pages made me want to cry a little bit. I felt like I’d wasted a lot of time writing sentences and ideas that I no longer wanted to include. But I’ve started seeing it as the best way to get the very best of my writing. Honestly, some of it needed to go. Sentences that didn’t go anywhere and themes that were never expanded upon. It felt messy and unfinished.
As mentioned above, I’m currently going through my re-typing stage. The edits I’ve done were to get the manuscript ready for it’s full retype. This means that all 34k words are being typed to a brand new document. Not as lengthy a process as the initial write up, but still time-consuming. Once that is done, I am going to giving a couple of copies out to people I trust for critiques. It will be the first time anyone else will have had the chance to read it and I’m a little nervous.
I think I’ll also be putting up a copy on Scribophile. That way I can get critiques from other writers. I am expecting the worse, that way if it’s not completely trashed I will feel better, but it also means my expectations won’t be dashed. I think posting a version there will be good for my grammar, and to see if I’ve ironed out all the other major issues.
That is how my first edits are going so far! I think I made a lot of good progress with my writing in 2018, and I am feeling positive for 2019. Now to finish typing and get some other opinions on my style and plot!
Hasta la fuego