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:
- Does the story in the chapter make sense?
- Can the wording be better?
- Is there any anomalies with the story or characters or timeline?
- Could anything be added or removed to make it better?
- Are there any weak spots?
- Any superfluous text?
- Anywhere that needs extra information so that the storyline makes sense?
- Check names and dates etc
- Check spellings, including of names and place names and technical wording if any etc
- Check grammar
- 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.