I’m back: Editing my novel

I’m back!

It has been a while since my last entry here.

Sorry about that.

I’ve been a little overwhelmed with life for a while now, but things seem to be getting back on track again, one step at a time. I have several large projects on the go which are taking – no – demanding my attention. I’m starting to chip away at them but the task sometimes looms far too large.

Having one of the coldest periods on record here in South Australia is not helping either. It is very tempting to linger in bed on these crisp, frosty mornings… and then linger some more. And my good wife spoils me by bringing me a hot cup of tea in bed some mornings. Bless her.

One of my major projects at present is finishing off my novel for children (I’ve written extensively about the process here.) I am currently working on the 7th draft and it is getting near to the final shape and form.

The editing and rewriting I am doing in the 7th draft comes from the comments made on my manuscript by my supervising lecturers. Both are experienced writers and editors and their help has been invaluable in shaping the novel into its present form. One thing I have found interesting is that their comments and suggestions are remarkably similar, even though they read the manuscript independently. They have been very picky, very critical of every word, sentence and even the whole structure of the story. This is good because it is helping me to produce the very best writing I can achieve.

Find a good critiquing friend

I would recommend that every writer find a trustworthy friend who knows about writing and how to do it well. Then get this person to critique your work. It could be a fellow writer, a neighbour, a member of a writers’ group or even someone who does this for a living. Paying someone to do this can be money well spent. I haven’t had to do that yet, but I have received much help from my lecturers (who get paid to do this) and from my writers’ groups (They do it because they like me! And I “pay” them by commenting on their writing).

Find a good editor

Along with finding someone to critique your writing I would suggest that your writing will benefit from good editing. You need to find a good editor. It can be the same person who critiques your work doesn’t have to be. I’m not talking about editors who work for publishers here. That stage comes later, after you’ve submitted the very best work you can do, and the publisher has accepted your piece for publication. I’m talking about someone with a good eye for picking up typos, spelling errors, punctuation boo-boos, grammatical blunders and structural flaws. Such a person can help you polish your work until it is perfect – or as near to that as you can. Publishers are more willing to accept your work if you make the effort to get it near perfect – so their editor has as little to do as possible.

Further reading:

  • Writing a novel – the process I went through to write a novel for children as my thesis paper for my Master of Arts.
  • Editing – more articles from my archives about the editing process.

Good writing.


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