The Throes of Editing Woes


I’m in the throes of editing my current work in progress or WIP, as we authors call it. While I’m writing a new book, I edit each part previously written before I move on to new writing. Then I repeat that throughout the entire book. About halfway through, I go back and read it all from the beginning (editing as I go) to make sure I’m still on the right track and everything is making sense and flowing well. At that point, I usually find where the plot is going to climax and maybe I’ll have an inkling of the end.

After I finish writing, I print it all out (grayscale/quick print to save time and ink). Then I let it sit and rest. Well, my mind needs the rest. A little like bread baking and letting dough rest before you start working with it. It’s much more pliable that way.

A few days later, I take my trusty red pen and sit down to read my entire manuscript out loud, marking it up and writing in anything needed to clarify. I find that because the story is clear in my mind, I often forget that my reader doesn’t know what I already know. That means I need to fill in some blanks or sparse places. I add some missing description and touch up some areas with color. Like an artist, I guess.

You’d think that after all that, I’d have found every mistake possible. But no. That’s when my important team of volunteer editors comes in. It’s astonishing how all of them often find different mistakes! How did I miss those after all those edits and reading out loud? A few of my editors also make great suggestions to change, delete, re-word, or condense something that makes the writing better. I would say that I make 95% of their suggested changes. On occasion, I decide that I like something the way it is. Everyone has their own style and preference so that 5% allows for that. (Don’t discount how important readers are!)

I send my manuscript out in installments to make it easier to keep track for my editors and me when inputting changes. Usually my books tend to break into four or five installments. Each editor reads at a different pace, so as they finish and submit their comments and corrections, I make changes line by line. Then I start on the next editor’s suggestions. The work they do for me is so valuable!

When I finish all those, I start formatting my manuscript and assign the ISBN to it.

Currently, I’m still putting in those final details. It’s tedious work, and I’m shocked at how many little letters are wrong or missing. This is also the time when I re-think any areas of plot I need to add as well. It’s clear in my head, but did my readers find it so? Did I leave any loose ends that make my reader disappointed?

All that leads me to the fact that we’re on track for an April first release of Deep Shadows. Yay!

Charlotte Lane Murphy doesn’t remember the night that will change her life forever. She’s in jail, concerned for her three children and wondering how she’ll ever get out of the mess she’s in. Noah Rivers is the only one who can help her put the pieces together, but his past isn’t to be trusted. Is it? Calling on her shaky faith in God and Noah’s belief that she’s not a killer, Charlotte examines her life and decides it’s time for some serious changes. Perhaps in the end, she’ll get a second chance at living.

"So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows." Isaiah 59:9

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