Editing: Like I Know Anything

So I got my novel back from my developmental editor a month or two ago. Wow. It’s been that long? You know how it goes, you get wrapped up in this and that, and “this and that” are always so important. So these last few days I’ve been trying to work on this beast of a novel, but I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, until today.

For this particular project, I have three different critiques: I have the comment notes in the manuscript, chapter by chapter notes, and a general critique. I decided to go through the manuscript notes first and then I’ll hit up the chapter by chapter. Is this the right process? Who knows, but it’s what I’m doing.

The problem was that I was just working until I got bored, tired, or frustrated. Truth is I don’t like to edit. Writing is fun, but editing nah. So after three days and I had only made it to page 22, I knew there was a problem. I mean I have an agent who wants to read my book and I’m dragging my feet. So I came up with a groundbreaking idea.

Are you ready for this? I set a timer. I know.  It’s mind blowing. Don’t roll your eyes at me. Yes, I set a timer. I made a goal to edit for three hours and I planned to take a break in between each editing slot to rest my brain while I did other chores or ran errands. It worked like a charm. I ended up editing for three and half hours and I added more than sixteen hundred new words. The additional words, even though the editor wanted more explanation and deeper penetration is a problem because he also wants me to cut ten thousand words. I’ll worry about that later.

The thing is, the timer is great because you have a set time to work. It gives you a schedule. Even if you don’t have three hours to work on your script, you can set your alarm for the time that you do have: one hour, thirty minutes, fifteen whatever. Just be consistent with it.

If I am able to stick with this schedule, I will be able to finish the manuscript edits in less than two weeks. Bonus, this gives me a daily goal and then a bigger deadline, and I work best on a schedule.

Wrapping this up. It you don’t have a schedule create one. Make sure your schedule has daily goals and do the math to identify the end date. I’m lucky too because I’m part of an online writing group where we all track our daily word count and our editing hours. I have blogged about finding a writing group before and I plan on writing about that again soon since my group and I are about six months into our daily challenge.

Good luck with your writing and your editing. Make a schedule and get to work. Enjoy.


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