ABC – Day 14 – Editing

Edit your book

Edit your book

Describe your editing process. Who edited/will edit your book? What was your relationship with your editor like? What could each of you have done to improve the process? What might you do differently in the future?

For my chapter books, my editing process seems to be pretty much the same. It looks something like this:

  • I write a draft using – I call this my “half draft” as it’s a bit like a very detailed plan. Some chapters can be out of order as I write and realise I need an extra step here or there. My kids often read this version chapter by chapter making suggestions along the way.
  • I then type it into a Word document – this is my “first draft”. I put the chapters in the right order and flesh out a few details as I go. I also do things like make sure characters have the same name the whole way through! In my half draft sometimes I forget what I’ve called a minor character…
  • After letting my draft sit for a while, I print it out and then edit it, writing any changes with a sharp pencil. I find that a pencil works better than a pen, no idea why. My kids may read it here too and pick up typos and errors along the way.
  • Once I’ve gone through it with the pencil, I type the edits into my document, again editing and smoothing as I go.
  • At this point, I read the story out loud. This picks up lines that don’t make sense and paragraphs that use the same word too many times, and other issues like that.

Once I’ve gone through the above process, I send the manuscript to my editor for her to work her magic. When it comes back, I print out the edits and go through them, creating a new document per draft. Once the edits have been done, I read it out loud again before sending it back to her. And the process continues.

I have a good relationship with my editor. She seems to understand what I’m trying to say in my books and helps me to get the message out. She also looks at it with a teacher’s eye as my main audience will be primary school students.

The process seems to be working for us, though there are times when I wonder if she gets annoyed at the time between drafts…. (for one book recently it was more than 6 months as life got in the way…!)


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  1. Hi Melissa,
    I really like how you laid that out so succinctly.
    When I read my chapters (or now, my stories) out loud, I can also tell if a line is too long or unwieldy. I can hear if the rhythm. I don’t mean like poetry, but just that if it sounds off. I usually catch a lot of my errors when I read it out loud to my crit group. I caught “exit door,” the last time. ((Rolling my eyes)). I continually edit and it takes me forever to finish, even these blog posts. I have to print out a piece to do a final (or semi-final) edit . For some reason, I have to see it on paper and write out the changes.
    Thanks for sharing what you do. 🙂

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