IWSG - September

For anyone who doesn't know, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.


This month, my insecurities revolve around what I was celebrating last month - the finished first draft of my novel, The Youngest Sorcerer. I left it alone in August, as is usually recommended after writing a first draft, so now I'm ready to go into it with fresh eyes and edit.

The only problem is, I don't have a lot of experience editing novel length stories. Flash fiction and short stories, sure, but not so much longer pieces of writing. It's been a long time since I've had to edit something so long, and it's difficult to know where to start.

However, I'm also excited to get started. I already know going in that there are going to be a lot of things that need fixing - my first drafts are always terrible, just the bare bones of the story - but I'm excited to fix them.

So, I'm going to start by reading the draft, and go from there. If you have any editing tips, please feel free to share!

Comments

  1. Start at the beginning and just go from there. You'll learn as you go. And take notes you can check later to be sure everything is consistent. Because you will forget the first chapter when you reach the end.

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  2. You'll get there! I know it will be hard but I agree with Alex, you will learn as you go. Good luck!!

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  3. Yes start at the beginning and work through. Have notepad etc handy so you can jot down all those little things like characters' eye colour so they don't change mid way! If you have a kindle try emailing the ms to that so you can read it like a proper book, I find this really useful as it seems to give me distance from the original version and I can see things better. Good luck and enjoy.

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  4. You're doing it right as far as I can see. Leaving it for a while will give you a fresh perspective and then going through it as if it's your first time, should help you tighten and sort out anything that you missed before. Good luck.

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  5. You're doing it right as far as I can see. Leaving it for a while will give you a fresh perspective and then going through it as if it's your first time, should help you tighten and sort out anything that you missed before. Good luck.

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  6. You'll be amazed at the little things that will jump out at you on your first draft rewrite. Good things and bad, just keep working at it, little by little.

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  7. I agree with what the others said: write down every detail. The eye colors of your characters, the first time your encounter them, their respective ages, the timeline of events, the numbers of floors in a house, street names, etc. I would have a separate file for those details, not a notebook. I often consult such a file when I'm editing. It is especially important if you write a series about the same characters, or happening in the same place.

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  8. Hi Laura - looks like you got good advice here ... make a matrix or bible (as it's called sometimes) with all the salient details ... good luck - cheers Hilary

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  9. You already figured out what to do--start reading and go from there. The advice of your commenters are right on target. Take notes as you read--don't try to fix anything on the first go round. By the time you get to the end, other things may have jumped out that will change what you just tried to fix. Good luck!

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  10. Sounds like you've got it covered. Waiting a bit before editing is always key, and the rest will come by itself. It just takes more time than the short stories. Good luck in the editing cave!

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  11. It sounds like everyone covered what I might say ... except maybe reading it out loud. It's hard but it's worth it.

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  12. Good luck on your editing journey. Like others have said, one of the first things to do is get logistics sorted out, like the timeline and so on. Lots of notes is the way to go!

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  13. That is awesome! You have to celebrate that you finished first. That's a great accomplishment any way you look at it. The editing will come and final product will be fantastic! Stay positive!

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