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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Transformation of Editing

The Thousand Year Curse will be off to a professional editor in June. I'm really excited since this will be the last step of my book process. After it's edited, I will fix whatever critiques she has and then it gets published! I'm really excited for this first book to get out there. 

In preparation for the editor- I'm editing. Have I mentioned how much I hate editing?! 

It's funny, I use scrivener to write my books and they have a really organized and easy way to edit. Basically you can make notes or highlight and everything you change, is a different color. My book started out looking like this...
Simple, black ink. I'm sure you can find some grammatical and possibly word errors. This was my first draft, before I edited it at all. I don't even think this scene is in the book anymore to be completely honest. 

Next came the green ink. I switched it up and made edit number one with green writing. Here's what it looked like at that stage...
Yes, I know. That first edit was rough and basically the majority of my manuscript was written in this neon green writing that my eyes had to strain to read. Poor decision on my part, I'll admit. But you can see how much changed in that first edit. It was a bit crazy and my novel grew about 20,000 words magically.

Next came the blue. I was a bit smarter with this part because I chose a royal blue, easy to read and not going to kill my eyes. Here's what the blue parts look like...

I don't even see black ink anymore at this point. My old writing has been transformed! This particular part was added in so that's mostly why it's all blue and green but still. Bye bye old novel and hello new and improved. I believed this blue stuff was edited after getting some beta readings done and suggestions.

Now this is the part I'm doing right now. I'm going through it with a fine toothed comb, cutting and fixing sentences before it goes to the editor. I want her to read the best book possible. Here's what I'm doing now and how it looks so far...
It's a freaking rainbow!

My suggestions for getting your book professional editor ready....
  • Clean up the format.
    • Make sure you have correct paragraphs, page breaks and chapter set up
  • Go through your time line  
  •  Make character sketches- if you haven't already
  •  Run your transcript through an online editor
    • I have Autocrit and it finds repeated words, pace problems and cliches. 
    • You would never believe what you pick up when reading it out loud. Trust me on this one. It is like night and day.
I know it's an odd concept... Getting your book edited fully before having it professionally edited. Growing up, my mom had cleaning ladies come to our house every couple weeks. The day before they came, we would have to clean and make sure it was ready for them. It's the same concept. For the professional editor you want to present your best work so that they can make it that much better.

Anybody else have some good editing tips? What works for you? Have you guys hired professional editors? Have they worked for you?

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