My Editing Process – How To Edit A Novel


Hi YouTube author Stefanie Newell
and this is The Life Of A Writer channel. Today’s video – How To Make Revisions
While Writing A Book. If you want to connect with readers and sell more books,
make sure to subscribe and get new content to your inbox every Tuesday.
But in today’s video, I’m going to be sharing a viewer related question (and I
definitely want to do more of these types of videos in the future), so if you
have a question that you think will benefit our entire writing community,
please share it in the comment section below. And I’ll pick out a few and
feature them in an upcoming video. Today’s question comes from Kelsey and her
question reads: Hi Stefanie my name is Kelsey I’m 21 and I’m currently working
on my first book my question is: what does your revision process consist of?
I’m in the middle of revising my book and its hell to say the least.
Do you have any tips for a noob like me? Are your main and minor characters
described? Characters that are going to reappear over and over again whether
they’re major or minor characters, you want to make sure that you’re giving
them a good description: describing what they look like, giving them personality
traits, and things of that nature. Now with that being said I do want to
encourage you not to do information dumps where you’re describing their hair
color, the length of their hair, their eye color, their skin complexion, what they’re
wearing, all in one paragraph. Our readers are smart enough to get that information
doled out to them little by little and you can do that over the course of pages,
paragraphs, chapters, however you see fit but make sure you’re not doing an
information dump. Do each of your characters have names? Oftentimes when
I’m doing manuscript critiques for my clients I find that first-time writers
are often challenged by point-of-view so make sure that you are keeping a
consistent point of view throughout your story. So what that means is if you’re
writing in first person make sure that your story is told in first person
consistently throughout the story. If you’re writing in third person make sure
that your story is told consistently in third person throughout the story. So the
easiest way to check for that is to look at your pronouns and make sure that
you’re using the correct pronouns throughout your entire story.
Are there any plot holes that you need to fill? Is there enough conflict?
Conflict is also going to help with the pacing of your story. Its going to help to
keep your reader engaged and they’re not gonna feel like your
story is lagging. You definitely want to have enough conflict for your characters
to resolve. So what that means is you don’t want to have chapter after chapter
where nothing is progressing your story. You definitely want to have a good
balance of conflict within your story. Does the story keep your interest? If
you’re in the editing process and you’re rereading parts of your story and it’s
not keeping your interest it’s likely not to keep the interest of your readers.
So don’t feel bad about editing or completely cutting out certain parts of
your manuscript. Does anything jump out at you every single time you read it? For
example: grammar, it’s too wordy, it’s not described well. Show not tell where
possible! Everybody’s revision process is going to look completely different.
So the reason why it looks different is because obviously all of us have
different strengths and weaknesses. There’s some areas that are going to be
really strong for some of us and then there’s going to be other areas where we
kind of need to develop those areas. Maybe it’s plot… maybe it’s
characters… whatever it is. So everybody’s revision process is going to look a
little bit different.If there are other things that you need to give some focus
to, maybe grammar or punctuation and things of that nature, you definitely
want to include it. If you want to connect with readers and sell more books
make sure to subscribe, but in the meantime make sure you check out my
playlist for fiction writers. As always all of my social media links will
be in the description box below. If you’re looking to hire me as your
writing coach you will find that information there as well and I look
forward to talking with you in my next video.

4 thoughts on “My Editing Process – How To Edit A Novel

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  2. Excellent video. Thanks. My process for editing is once I have the first draft down, I save each chap into its own word file, labeled by their chapter number. Then I work one chap at a time, each chapter taking the entire day. Whether it's 5 pages or 15 pages, I spend the entire day(day meaning whatever allotted time I have for that day) working on and thinking about that chap. When you break it down, you can do a full novel in just over a month, or less, depending on your chapter count. That keeps the feeling of being overwhelmed low for me. It's easier, for me, to edit 40 chapters a day at a time than it is to edit 110,000 words. Moving from one file to the next gives me a sense of moving forward/making progress. Once I do that, I place them all back into one full story file and go again. By that time, I have a clear vision of the story, have bonded with the characters, and can edit as I go.

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