It’s been 10 months since I wrote that elated post about completing Death Becoming. And boy, has it been an editing rollercoaster. Writing? I love. Editing? Not so much. I got about 30,000 words into writing my sequel before I forced myself to stop getting ahead of myself and get back to the nitty gritty of editing what will (hopefully) be my debut. (And without it, the sequel will be dead in the water.)
First, I secured myself a few betas readers via reddit. This has been one of hardest yet most rewarding parts of the editing process. I’ve always had friends read my writing, They’re the best cheerleaders you could ask for, and I couldn’t have gotten to the finish line without them. But… They’re completely biased. Which is where a good beta comes in. Nothing like having a complete stranger rip your baby to shreds, line by line, all while you smile and say thank you. The weirdest part is I enjoyed it. Brutal honesty that makes my story the best it can be? Yes, please!
After getting beta feedback, I went back and did almost a full rewrite of the manuscript. I allowed myself brief glances at scenes before settling in in front of the blank page once more and seeing what stuck and what superfluous storylines went by the wayside. Sounds like a lot of work (it was) but just making line edits felt like I was creating Frankenstein’s monster and somewhere along the way the heart of the story got lost. And in the end, I’m glad I did it.
Now, I didn’t go to school for this, so I’m basically flying by the seat of my pants at all times and hoping no one notices. Every book’s editing process is different, and every writer’s process is different, but I’d love to hear what others are doing. I’ve done JK Rowling’s plot point flow chart and I’ve made countless lists. For my next run through, I’m thinking about tackling Susan Dennard’s hefty, yet beautifully color coded, revision system. Has anyone tried it? Any other methods you find useful?