Before I explain how I edit, let me explain how I write. First I had an outline in my head of all the main events of the story. As I wrote, I made up the details in between, but I always knew where things were headed and where they’d end up, which prevented me from ever getting stuck.
Each day when I started working, first I’d go back and edit what I’d done the day before and then I’d keep writing from there. It helped refresh me on where I was in the story, got me back into the flow of things, and also made what I’d written before manageable, so it wouldn’t be a total, undecipherable mess when I came back to it after finishing the first draft.
Revising, I use pencil on a printed copy of the manuscript, going through and making changes a chapter at a time. Then I go back and enter the changes on a new document in the computer. Reading through the edited chapter on the computer, I make my final changes, and then the process repeats.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I’m cutting about fifty percent of what I’ve written so far, which is fine, because I started with about 300 total pages. Also, I plan on adding a couple of scenes when I’m through, making the length right where I want it to be.
Here you can see the scope of the changes I’ve been making in a picture of an average edited page:
And here is picture of the ginormous binder (courtesy of my dad) I use to hold all 300 pages:
Thankfully, no one else will have to slog through all 300 pages. It’s getting shorter, better, and more to the point each time I work on it.
Work has been going well. I’ve been picking up the pace, and next week I’ll let you in on my new plans for the novel, including the new title I’m contemplating and plans for the series!