So you’ve finished your first draft – congratulations! Now it’s time to edit, edit and edit some more to make your book the best it can be.
Let It Rest
Once you’ve finished for first draft, give it a while to settle. Give yourself some distance.
Set it aside for a week and then go back it to start your edits. What you need to do to your manuscript will be clearer and easier.
Read It Aloud
Brains are amazing things and one of their powers is to fill in the gaps or smooth over stumbles because it knows what should be in that place. Your mouth, however, isn’t quite as smart!
Reading aloud – to your cat, your BFF, your empty cereal bowl – will make you notice the sentences that don’t flow, the bits that make you stumble, the places you may have got lost. It’s a vital step.
Readers you can trust to be thorough, honest and reliable are a writer’s gold dust.
A Good Beta Reader Will:
- Spot continuity issues.
- Check that it flows and makes sense.
- Identify plot holes or rogue strands.
- Be specific in their critiques and feedback.
A Good Beta Reader:
- Is (ideally) personally familiar with issues in your novel.
- Reads the genre and age-range you’re writing.
- Has never read your manuscript before – fresh eyes are best.
- You’ve done amazingly to get this far. Don’t get disheartened and give up.
- It’s okay to make changes.
- Keep working on it.
Words of encouragement from Twitter:
— Laura Lam (@LR_Lam) May 27, 2016
@maximumpopbooks "write what you love"
— Alex Martin (@Neodammerung69) May 17, 2016
Share your best editing tips with us at @maximumpopbooks!
Writing YA: Essential Reading for Writers
Writing YA: Prepping for Publishing
- Call yourself a fan of LGBT+ YA? We bet you haven’t read all of these…
- All the reasons why we want to be like Mary from Jenny Downham’s ‘Unbecoming’ when we’re older
- Judge a book by its cover: Sarah J Maas’s ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ is so gorgeous it’s off the scales!
- Win! 1 of 10 copies of Laura Lam’s ‘False Hearts’ + Laura Lam reveals clues about book 2!
- “I would not, could not be broken”: Have we included your favourite quotes from ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’?
- Reading has never been more comfy, or classy, with the help of these fab cushions
- 6 reasons why you should totally join our mailer
- Booktube precusor, breaking the mould, and pottering around Pottermore: a Q&A with booktuber Sablecaught
- WIN! 1 of 10 ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ goody bags