This week’s Road Trip Wednesday, hosted by YA Highway, is focused on the post-NaNoWriMo world of editing and revising. The question they are asking today is:
How do you approach editing/revising? Any tips or tricks or resources you can share?
First, I will not be spending December editing or revising my NaNo project. I’m keeping that safely tucked away until the New Year. I’ve spent a month with that manuscript, and we need some time apart so I can look at it with fresh eyes in January. I suppose that goes some way toward answering the question, because I’ve taken this approach with all the novels I’ve written so far. After writing, I’ll take a break from that particular work, perhaps start something else, or catch up on things I set aside while writing. Only after a few weeks’ or more distance from the novel will I return to it, and try to read it as if I was reading it for the first time.
I will also make multiple passes over the manuscript, perhaps one time for continuity and fact-checking. Another time to check for mechanical errors (typos, bad grammar, horrible sentence structure, etc.). And I save every edit, using the software version convention (e.g., My Novel 1.0.doc; My Novel 1.1.doc; My Novel 1.2.doc; My Novel 2.0.doc). Each minor version represents one of my passes through. When it’s ready to go to 2.0, it’s ready for beta readers. At 3.0, it’s ready to query. Between 2.0 and 3.0, there may be multiple passes as I receive feedback and make changes.
So there’s some insight into my editing process. How do you approach editing? Any tips or ideas you want to share? Feel free to do so in the comments, or participate in the Road Trip (details at YA Highway)!