My Writing Life: Editing My Book

Today’s My Writing Life post is inspired by the last couple days of what I have been doing, creative writing wise. I have been editing my novel and I have made some serious progress for the first time in months.

Since December I have been trying to edit and revise my book but I have restarted and restarted and restarted again, all because I keep thinking of new things to add, and they have been big things so I have needed to start from the beginning every time. But finally, a draft seems to have stuck! I am currently nearing the 15,000 word mark on this draft and it is going well so far. Yes this is partly due to Camp NaNoWriMo (see my latest update here), but it is also partly due to a new schedule I have set myself and that is what I am going to share with you today. My editing schedule. Of course this may not work for you, you could have your own schedule or none at all. You have to do what feels best for your manuscript but hopefully this might help you a little!

Right, what I’ve done is determine how many revisions I am going to have and what the aim is for each revision. I first read about this method in a writing help book but I thought it sounded far too complicated. I couldn’t imagine writing my book that many times, just combing through it for one specific aspect. It sounded mind-numbingly boring. But now I am a little older (and hopefully a bit wiser) I have realised the benefits of this system.

My system doesn’t have as many steps as that writing book (they had about 20 revisions!), I only have seven.

  1. Checking the overall plot.
  2. Looking at the main subplot.
  3. Other minor subplots.
  4. My descriptions – how can they be better detailed?
  5. Dialogue improvements – how to make the dialogue realistic and entertaining.
  6. Wider worldbuilding – are there any details I have missed out?
  7. Grammar and spelling – one of the most annoying yet necessary details to writing a book.

I’m hoping each revision will take me 3-5 weeks which would put me between 5-9 months (roughly, this is mental maths I’m doing here) for a final draft, at which point I hope to hire a professional editor before sending out queries to agents.

So does this sound plausible? I think I will post updates on this schedule later on, to see if I keep to my timetable and if each revision works out like I hope it will. With any luck I’ll be querying the book early next year!

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