Exploring Self-Editing Styles

Three weeks ago I finished the first draft of my second novel. It stood at 76k words, which was a nice accomplishment for me because The Seventh Sons Of Sycamore only totaled 67k. Over the next two weeks I went through the standard revision process that I’ve spoken about here. When that was done, my book had no plotting mistakes, was complete, and topped out at 85k words. I imagine that will be the length of the final product.

This week, aside from looking into professional editors, I’ve been in the polish stage. This time I wrapped up my manuscript in an epub and decided to read it in iBooks, taking notes any time something seems off. Instead of focusing too much on copy, I’m more concerned with things like: scenes feeling well-rounded, paragraph flow, chapter structure and pacing.

I’m happy with how the book feels as a reader. When I finish this pass, today or tomorrow, I’ll have an unedited manuscript but a ton of notes in iBooks. Then I’ll start my copy-editing-polish pass, take all these notes into account, and improve the flow of my prose.

This entire process- all my editing passes before being sent to a professional- might take 5 weeks. This is longer than I’d thought, but as long as I feel I am significantly improving the book, it’s the right thing to do.

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