When editing ask yourself these questions as you go:
- How does this chapter contribute to the story arc (what is its point?)
- Is there any section that could be more concise or flow better?
- Are all character motivations clear?
- Am I giving readers a clear enough sense of place with setting description?
- Would a first-time reader have enough information to make sense of the story, its plot and sequence of events?
Once you have completed your first draft, make sure the story as a whole delivers what it promised, rather than immediately going into the details.
I use colours to difference different plot threads and characters while planning and then to criticise when editing.
Read your work aloud.
You’ll notice more mistakes that way.
Highlighters and stationary are your friends.
Edit until your fingers bleed.
Just remember when you think you’re manuscript is shit: 50 Shades of Grey got a movie deal.
(Realise this piece of shit got a MOVIE DEAL)
Let me tell you about my charatcer Divya. Divya is a shy thirteen year old slave with a navie mind and fascinated with the stars and moons of her planet. Every word I write for her fits her character perfectly. She has a life outside of her arc filled with friends and love and hobbies and hope and dreams. She is by far the best character I have ever written and favourite to write.
And I’m deleting her.
I always thought it harsh saying that if it wasn’t plot relevant, it wasn’t worth having in the story. But now I understand. Divya isn’t plot relevant. In fact, the amazing arc of Divya takes away from plot. But even though I love her, I realise my plot is more important than any character.
So yeah, I’m sad (very sad, I may have cried taking out her scene), and I’m going forward the knowledge that if I ever have to take a character out again, they won’t be as good as Divya.
You’re gonna need to professional editor, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t edit.
I literally have no clue.
At the moment I’m editing my manuscript that includes a culture loosely based on that of North Indian in the Kashmir region.
I’m not Indian, have never been, and don’t know anyone who is Indian.
Should I even be writing about such things? And if I should (which I’d liked to, the manuscript took a long time to write), how should I prepare and research for it?
Would love your input!!