Before I say more about my editing ordeal, I must admit that I would have preferred to hire a professional editor. Even a cursory check of blogs and articles on the internet will bear me out. A professional editor for you book is the way to go. However, I wanted to get the book out as I have several others coming down the pike. Unfortunately, I also had significant housing expenses. The final results: no money for an editor.
Editing is difficult. And really no fun. But, it’s a necessary part of writing. This is how I did it:
- After completing the manuscript, I put it away for a while.
- I then did three read throughs:
- The first to correct obvious mistakes and to fill in those blanks writers create when a name or description eludes you at the moment and you don’t want to stop the creative flow to search a thesaurus;
- The second was to adjust the timeline. You don’t want to say your character, John, flies to Europe in two days, then later write, “Three weeks later, John boarded the plane for Paris.”
- Lastly, I did a read through to evaluate the entire manuscript. Finally finished? Not by a long shot.
- I then obtained a beta reader. Her criticism gave me a sense that I was on the right track with the story.
- I next obtained proofreading software and ran the manuscript through it multiple times. I looked for not just typos and grammar , but passive sentences, word repetitions, sentence length, and vague words.
- I then put the manuscript away again. This time when I came back to it, the manuscript read like a new story. This allowed me to see errors that I’d missed before.
- Finally, I read the manuscript twice more: once for the flow of the story and the second time aloud, to pick up any further grammar and typo errors, as well as poor sentence structure.
LETHAL PARADISE will be available on Amazon. I hope you take a look at it.