I have this five page sheet of all the things I need to fix and edit. What do I do with them? And how do I move forward? I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. I don't know what to do with all this amazing advice I've been given. So here's how to get started on that final product.
The best thing I find about editors is that they look at your book from a new eye. Mine didn't know a thing about the book minus the genre. She found a bunch of little holes and loose strings that I never would have found. Now that I know, I can easily run back and fix them, tie up the loose ends and my book reads better.
- Check your grammar. Make sure all punctuation, quotation and everything else follows code and is done correctly.
- Usage. This is a big one for me. Make sure that your verbs and nouns agree with their tenses and in number. Since I use first person, it's easy to mix up and slip into past tense. So keep track and make sure everything agrees with each other.
- READ IT OUTLOUD. AGAIN. This one is really huge and has helped me tremendously. I can't explain how much I catch when I read outloud. You can figure out if things sound awkward or unrealistic. It really does help. I promise.
- Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. I can't say this enough. One of my critiques was that there's too much thoughts. So with my scissors I'm going to have to go through it with a fine toothed comb and cut out whatever is insignificant or unnecessary.
- Find a dictionary or a thesaurus and a grammar book and figure out if you're doing it right. There's no shame in consulting the experts. They know what they're doing for a reason. I had issues with my dashes versus hyphens or whatever. I looked in the book and saw I was doing it wrong. Easy fix but without the book, I might look a little silly.
- Format! Make sure you format your book the way you want. If there's a change in scene make a double space with something in the middle. Make sure your chapters line up.
Lastly! My editor gave me a big boost of self esteem. She listed off the things she liked and what really worked for my book. Now I'm more eager to get the project published because I know I have a good story. It's a nice lifter before publishing and it's getting me motivated to finish fast.
My advice? Hire an editor!