Editing is a necessary and inevitable part of the writing process. No matter what you’re writing – from a blog post to a novel – taking the time to correct, add, delete, or change things helps make your writing stronger and helps you deliver a polished product.
When you edit, you likely know the key areas you want to focus on to improve the manuscript. Still, it’s best to read the entire draft and make changes to each chapter along the way.
Let’s talk about it.
There’s Always Something
Even if you love how a chapter is written, there’s always room for small changes that can result in a stronger finished product. It can be as simple as rewording a sentence for clarity or as involved as delivering greater detail to a character’s appearance. You may also find grammar or spelling errors you missed in previous drafts that can now be fixed.
Every little bit helps.
Pacing, Pacing, Pacing
Taking the time to re-visit your entire story can help you see where the story lags, where a reader might lose interest, or where even you, as the writer, need clarification. Checking the story for pacing and ease of reading can ensure you don’t lose a reader at any point during the story.
What Really Matters
By going through each chapter, you can also ensure that each chapter has a reason to be in the book. A reason? Yes, a reason. Each chapter should provide the reader with information about a character or plot that helps to move the story forward. Whether it’s the main story, sub-plots, or backstory, all of it needs to assist in propelling the narrative toward its conclusion.
Beginnings and Endings
How does the story begin? Does it grab you? Does it make you want to turn to the next page and keep reading? Go back through your opening chapters to ensure they help transport the reader into the story’s world and keep them there. You can offer up set-ups and questions in these early chapters that will be paid off and answered later.
With the final chapters, have you created a satisfying conclusion for your reader that ties up any loose story threads and gives them a complete story? Is there anything presented throughout the story that hasn’t been resolved? Reading the entire manuscript ensures all story points are concluded and not left flapping in the wind for readers to ponder what happened.
Editing is a lengthy task and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By giving your story the time and editing it deserves, you can help make it a more robust narrative with better pacing, a stronger opening, and a grand finale.
It’s also great to snag those pesky grammar and spelling errors!
Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!