J. L. Harland • June 10th, 2018
One of the joys of working together is sharing. Not only do you share the fun of writing you share the editing process too. When we wrote our first novel we edited as we went along but then we decided it was time for the full edit. It didn’t exactly make our hearts sing to think about it but once we started it became quite addictive. Editing can be as much fun as writing. After all, you want your writing to stand out from the crowd, don’t you?
If you can afford to do so, a professional editor, or mentor, can help but before you approach anyone it is good discipline to try to achieve the highest standard you can yourself.
As we see it there are several layers of editing. In the first instance you need to ensure that all spelling and grammar errors are eradicated. Don’t rely on your computer. You need to read through yourself to identify errors and then ask someone else to do the same.
One of the best forms of editing is to read aloud. When you hear your words take form it gives you more of an idea of the rhythm, the music, of the words. Sentences need to vary in length and form. Read aloud some passages from your favourite authors and think about how the words sound and the effect of the punctuation.
When we did our first big edit we sat for a day reading and adjusting the text as we read. We managed three chapters in one day. It’s a slow process and cannot be hurried.
After that first edit we trawled through the whole manuscript again, several times. In fact, so many times we lost count.
In summary, our advice on editing is one you should have already heard numerous times. Edit, edit, edit and then edit again until you are satisfied your work is as good as you can make it.