Just When You Think You Have Finished!

Just over a week ago I was feeling elated about having written 80,000 words of my current WIP. Now reality dawns. I need to get into this, for me, new arena called editing.

With the school holidays underway and a very bouncy eight year old demanding amusement, my writing time will be limited for the next seven and a half weeks, but I am hoping that this might focus my mind. We always have this strange settling down phase where we both adjust to no alarm and externally imposed structure, but then we begin to enjoy our adventures and relaxation.

So the plan from here for the book is:-

1. Map out the story line including the passage of time and the seasons.

2. Ensure flashbacks and clues for the mystery are inserted at the right points

3. Closely examine each chapter to eliminate repeated words, phrases and clichés.

4. Re-write passages of “telling”.

5. Ensure that the correct point of view is maintained through scenes.

6. Flesh out my characters and ensure descriptive continuity throughout the manuscript.

7. Upload the “finished” version to my newly acquired Kindle for a thorough read through aloud.

Sounds simple! However, a new beginning for the story occurred to me yesterday and although this means a rewrite of the first couple of chapters, I think it is worth pursuing as it introduces the story in a more original way. This needs to be completed before step 1.

Maisey Yates was blogging yesterday about her process of writing http://www.maiseyyates.com/2011/07/17/no-sir-i-dont-like-it/ and about how many cookies she gets through when writing a book. Mmm…..I wonder how much editing chocolate I will consume?

Any editing steps I’ve missed or tips welcome below please.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. ahhhh welcome to the world of editing…….I have only finished one book so only have had to do it once…..and really I thought as I had an A level in English I could spell….apprently I can't and dislike using all the words in sentances too……….good luck and congrats hon!!


  2. Congratulations on finishing the first draft of your novel, Morton. Now you have something to work with. Editing can be quite a satisfying experience if you're in the right frame of mind. Enjoy your school holidays – we are already into our third week!


  3. You can see what you need to do and you have a plan. That's a great start 🙂 My only advice is to take a couple of weeks away as it really does clear the mind in readiness for editing.

    Good luck! x


  4. I love the editing process, perhaps it's all thechocolate that, I too, come to depend on! I love playing around with sentences and scenes to get the best out of them, and I really love it when I come across a passage that fits/works so perfectly that you think maybe someone else wrote it for you.

    Good luck with the editing and enjoy your school holiday adventures.


  5. You've done so well to produce that first draft. Editing is satisfying, although a different kind of process from the writing. I hope your summer goes well, and enjoy the chocolate. x


  6. At least you have a plan! I'm used to writing of an evening, but it is nice to get some stuff done during the day when the kids are at school/preschool, so my writing will suffer a bit.

    And don't mention editing chocolate again! I've just had to go and get some!


  7. Don't forget beta readers! I find them invaluable, and very good at picking things out that I miss to help me make a story clearer and logical, as opposed to just doing what I want it to do.


  8. Teresa – Writing in the evening is difficult now little son is 8. He finds it increasingly difficult to get to sleep. Early morning is best for me. Trying not to get hooked on the chocolate as don'twant to put my weight back on. Need to be sylph like (lol) in case of book signings!

    Jenny – I'm not too brave on letting people read my raw stuff! Must get better. Mx


  9. Esmeraldamac – No it isn't simple or I would have done it. I am procrastinating at the moment. But I am determined, this book will be finished. I'll need your luck. Mx


  10. Morton, well done for completing your first draft. It looks to me like you've got a plan to hand. You just need the time to execute the plan.

    Best wishes. KT


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