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Editing. Editing. Editing.

I’m currently on my edit of my second novel. And I’ve made a brief list of the number of edits & what needs to be done at each point. And I’ve got 6 editing procedures that I’ll probably be doing. 7 if I include the initial read through to get re-familiar with the story.

I didn’t really know if this seems too many times to edit. But I guess if it works for me then I’ll stick to it.


The procedure that I put in place for my first novel and the one I’m keeping follows:

1st edit : initial read through to familiarise myself with the story and characters

2nd edit : to go through entire novel chapter by chapter and do a general edit. Altering obvious mistakes (but not getting bogged down in spelling and grammar too much as this will come later), highlighting regions that need a heavy edit or seem superfluous or doesn’t really work, and identifying areas that need more text/story/background – or in fact what areas need less.

3rd edit : scroll through and pick up the obvious areas needed the most re-working and fill in what’s needed etc. Really obvious highlights first, then all others until all highlighted areas dealt with.

4th edit : another entire read through to see if happy with the story line and character consistencies etc.

5th edit : Go through chapter by chapter. Working on each until satisfied. Making sure chapters are fully edited and as strong as they can be. Things to look for here:

  1. Does the story in the chapter make sense?
  2. Can the wording be better?
  3. Is there any anomalies with the story or characters or timeline?
  4. Could anything be added or removed to make it better?
  5. Are there any weak spots?
  6. Any superfluous text?
  7. Anywhere that needs extra information so that the storyline makes sense?
  8. Check names and dates etc
  9.  Check spellings, including of names and place names and technical wording if any etc
  10. Check grammar
  11. Finally is the chapter as strong as it can be?

6th edit : Leave for several days or weeks if possible before reading through as a reader as if it’s a finished product and edit any remaining/overlooked mistakes

7th edit : give to another pair of eyes to read through. Review their recommendations and edit.

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