Since I finally started writing my novel, I thought I should research how to revise a novel. I’d saved a couple relevant links in the hope of one day needing them. Below are two.
Then there is Casey Carlisle’s Editing Your Novel post.
Editing an entire novel seems daunting. It often takes me days (i.e. multiple sittings due to limited time) to edit a 6000 word short story. I do this the old fashion way by printing off the story and using a colored ink pen to mark it up. That process necessitates another day or two to insert my changes into the file.
I anticipate using the same process to edit my novel. How long will that take when applied to such a lengthy work? A long time.
First, I plan to let the novel sit for several weeks. Stephen King says he waits six weeks after finishing an initial draft before beginning the first edit. I don’t know if I can wait that long, but the goal is to gaining enough distance from the story and characters to be objective. That’s when I’ll do my first round of edits.
Then, I’ll send the novel to my beta readers. I anticipate they’ll have excellent suggestions requiring additional edits. I usually input those changes directly into the file, saving a little time. After that, I plan to revise the novel at least one more time, requiring the sacrifice of another tree and the spilling of additional ink.
At that point, I’m debating hiring a story editor. I want this to be the best work possible. After those changes comes the hiring of a copy editor, though they could be the same editor. I don’t plan to ask my wife to copy edit an entire novel. I like being married to her and want to stay that way.
My goal is to have the novel ready to send to the professional editors by next year’s NaNoWriMo. (I need to be free to write that next novel!) Maybe by Spring 2020, I’ll have a completed manuscript to shop to agents. It seems like a long time, but I suspect it will fly by.
(When NaNoWriMo is over, I also plan to read Dean Wesley Smith’s How to Write a Novel in Ten Days. At this point, that premise sounds ridiculous.)
Let me know in the comments if you’re editing process is similar to mine or if you take a different approach.
Photo credit: quinntheislander via Pixabay