7:12:00 AM

How to edit your book
Yesterday I wrote a blogpost and named it: The funniest TV shows of 2107.
Notice something? Well, I didn't. I just overlooked a huge mistake or I'm Star-Lord, and my mom make me a mix-tape of her favorite shows because I'm wandering around the galaxy with a rabid raccoon.
This was only a blogpost. My point is, if you have a manuscript you want to publish, you need an editor. Don't rely solely on spellcheck and your own eyes. Spellcheck will not pick up certain mistakes. The longer your manuscript is the more likely it is that you will go crazy trying to get fix everything yourself.

You're deadset on doing it yourself?
Sure, I get it, paying people, finding people, even delegating isn't something you are in the mood for. Then I would recommend that you pour yourself a cup of coffee, or twenty. And proceed:

1. After finishing your first draft, wait, let it sit there, take a week off. In the meantime order a big bag of your favorite brew.
2. Print it. Really, we are going old school.

3. Read it through. Chapter by chapter. Don't worry too much about the whole story yet, focus on the chapters.
Read the first, take out mistakes, sentences that feel wrong, are clumsy or redundant. Make the changes. Reread it, edit again. See if it flows better now.
4. Reread it aloud this time. What sounds off, doesn't fit? Take it out, change it.

Chapter two. Do the same. And so on.
5. Then tackle the structure of the story, does it build up like you wanted? Are there parts that are better?  Try to make every chapter like the chapters that you are satisfied with.
Scrap some stuff, do it.
6. Print it again. Read it, edit, and see if it becomes easier to read. If not, find the problem: is the language, the arc, the length, a character?
Change what doesn't work. Read it again. Don't be sentimental, if it doesn't work, change it.
7. At this stage reading it to someone else is an excellent way to confront yourself with the effectiveness of the story.  Proceed till what you wrote moves you. It will if you do it right. You are done, when you cannot chip anything away, without destroying the whole thing.
8. Then you copy-write. This means taking out all the mistakes. every misplaced comma, every misspelled word, words that are repeated too close to each other. Look at more than one sentence at once, are they varied, the length, the words, the meaning? Could paragraphs be shorter or longer?
9. You could ask some of your friends to help at this point.
10. Try to read your story on paper, on tablet, on your desktop, it helps to change it up.
11. Run spellcheck again. If you have beta readers, let them help.
12. When you close to perfection, stop, congrats, you did it!

It' a time-consuming puzzle. You have to be honest with yourself, are you going to be detached enough to make cuts? If not run and find an editor immediately. You have to be able to be blunt but not too self-critical, detachment helps. And remember writing is re-writing.

Or you can get help, and even if you do all this, you still should get help. I certainly did for all my books, it was mandated when I published the regular way, and when I finished met third novel, that that I will self-publish, I hired an editor immediately.

Here are some site where you can find one:

First decide if you need an editor or a proofreader. An editor helps with structural changes, making you writing clear and interesting. They suggest changes in the story itself, while also helping with the language. A proofreader will make a finished manuscript ready for publication by eliminating every last mistake, he or she will also fact check.




a more economical option: gradstudentfreelancers

or go directly to Createspace: 

Ask them what their specialty is, be clear what you are looking for. When they are available send them a sample chapter to edit. They will quote you then. Ask more than one person, compare their style, their communication and prices and go with the one in your budget and comfort zone.

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