Wednesday, January 6, 2016

5 Halfway Decent Tips For Editing

Soo, I 'm in the middle of editing AGAIN. This book, TWIG, has been edited and rewritten and revised more times than I'd like to talk about, but anyway. So I'm jumping back in after taking a break over the holidays and I got thinking. Thinking about how I've never really done a post concerning editing, whether it be tips or gifs explaining my long, drawn out, painful editing process. Where I've done loads of both those kinds of posts concerning drafting. Sooo...

Today I bring you my 5 Halfway Decent Editing Tips!

1. Wait at least a month after finishing your first draft to start editing! You need a break first so that you can distance yourself a little before jumping into revisions. That way, you'll catch more mistakes and better see how you can fix things.

2. Start by reading through the whole novel - without editing a word! - and making notes of what needs work. If you just jump in blind you may not find as many of the big picture things that need to be revised and edited.

Remember first-time editors, everyone has their own editing style, start slow and you'll figure yours out.

3. Keep in mind that you're not fixing everything at once. You aren't going to edit just once. You're going to edit once to focus on big things like plot. Edit once to focus on character development. Edit again for grammar and the like. That's just basics. Maybe you'll do characters and plot together. Maybe you'll only edit and revise twice before feeling ready to send to CP's and then query. Either way, one round of editing and revisions is not going to fix everything, so don't try.

4. You're going to get discouraged, you are. It's a fact, it happens. Even now, when I'm editing my book for the millionth time. I still get discouraged halfway through. My writing sucks, my characters are horrible, my plot is still too thin. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. When this happens, you can either power through it, or take a break, take a nap, and come back a day or so later refreshed. Because, you know what? Then you'll realize it's not nearly as bad as you thought.

5. Have a buddy! You NEED someone you can talk things through with. Writing seems very much like a solitary thing, but it's not. You have to have someone you can bounce ideas off of, talk through that plot hole with. Just explaining things, out loud, can help you see how to fix them. This is more important than ever in editing and revising because it's where you do the most work, where you whip that messy first draft into perfection.


Good luck with editing and if you'd like, let me know if you'd like to see a post about my editing process! Now, I'm going to crawl back into the deep dark hole that is this draft I'm working on.


  1. These are some BRILLIANT tips and I'm sure I'd use them if I wrote. But in general, I think it's a good idea to always edit stuff a few days after you finish the first draft because I often see things I didn't see before because I'm in a different mindset!

    Great post, Shay! <33

    1. Haha, thanks Melanie! True, true, I actually need to start doing that for blogs post, especially reviews because I always end up finding something wrong in my reviews because I don't edit them enought. =)

  2. These are such great tips! I mean, the gifs make them the best tips ever, let's be honest, BUT they would be great on their own too :D Editing is SCARY. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and in school, I used to drive myself bananas. So, you know how people proofread their tests and such before handing them in? I did no such thing. I never changed an answer, never even looked at it again. So editing is forcing myself to do that, and I don't want to. Actually- that isn't true. I DO want to, in a sense. There are things I knew I wanted to change as I was writing it, so yeah, those I do want to go back to. Maybe I will just ummm hire an apprentice. Or something. But I don't have money, so maybe he or she will just want to be my intern? Can that be a thing? Let's make it a thing! Good luck with the editing!! I can be a buddy anytime you need one :D

    1. Man, Big Bang Theory gifs just work perfect for any kind of writing post, I don't hardly ever use anything different for me!

      Oh my god, editing is SCARY. I tottaly get you. I generally enjoy editing as long as I can keep the idea of being perfect from my head. I have to focus on the things I'm excited to fix and work on because the second I start thinking about making it perfect and ready to query I just...can't do anything. I do think it's one of those things that you dread and then you start and it's not *quite* as bad as you think. An apprentice! That's a really good idea, do they make those? haha.

      Thanks, Shannon, I can always use buddies when editing! =( <3<3<3