You’ve written the first draft of your book!
Congratulations! This is an accomplishment many aspire to but never reach.
Are you now wonder if you need to hire an editor? And if so, which one? (If you didn’t know there is more than one kind of editor, check on my blog post on the different types of book editors.)
I have a secret I’ll let you in on. I know the perfect editor for you.
They will understand your story, will give you great insight, and will be able to make it better like it is no one’s business!
Are you ready to meet them?
Okay. Author, I’d like you to meet…yourself!
You are the best editor after your first draft.
No developmental editor is going to improve your story better than you this time around. No line editor is going to be able to get across what you want to say this pass through. And a copy editor and proofreader aren’t needed at this point. It is a waste of time and money to have the grammar/spelling/punctuation checked if you are just going to cut whole sections and write new sections.
So now that you’ve met your editor, let’s get started editing!
The first step is…walk away. Leave it alone. Don’t think about it.
You need to get away from the manuscript for a while so when you come back you can see it with fresh eyes. And I’m not talking a few hours or days—a few weeks would be better.
See, after you let it sit for a while and let it marinade in your brain, you are the best person to take a second look at it.
You probably had so many ideas about how to make things better as you were writing or you were hung up on certain parts as you were writing. But you didn’t stop to make the changes because you wanted to get the whole thing out of your head. Good for you!
After the marinade, read through the whole thing again. But don’t make any changes, just make notes on everything. Then you can start the second draft. You can change it up, add in the stuff you thought of while taking a break, delete what doesn’t work, work on the scenes you were stuck on, and research what you need.
Then let it sit and do it around.
Keep doing this until you are mostly happy with the book.
Then you are ready for the next step—editing.