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Editing first draft of novel

(12 Posts)
monkeytree Mon 06-Feb-17 20:18:43

Hi
So I've completed the first draft of my first novel I've been working on. It has been immensely enjoyable because I have not edited my writing as I've gone along instead just throwing ideas down as the story seemed to unfold quite naturally.

Now I move on to editing what I have just written and I'm not talking grammar errors here but rephrasing, cutting chunks out and improving the sentence structure etc. I didn't realise how intense it would be. I've also got to contend with getting dates accurate (there are a lot of them) and to be honest it very labour intensive. Maybe it's my impatience to get ithe book finished because I rattled off the first draft pretty quickly and I can already see this is going to require another read through and edit. I foolishly printed it off without leaving a space between each line hence there is scrawl everywhere on the page

Did anyone else find this part of the process quite hard going and requiring a lot of patience? It is however immensely satisfying I should add to see the book take shape.

Also can I ask anyone - have you used a professional editing service to sort out grammar and perhaps tidy up structure a bit? If so what is the likely cost of this service please?

GetAHaircutCarl Tue 07-Feb-17 08:16:12

Hi there.

I absolutely loved very the planning and writing stages but loath editing.

It has to be done of course, but by then the excitement is all lost for me.

I've found the best approach to be extremely methodical. I take separate passes at the MS for different issues e.g. I will do a separate edit for each voice, to ensure consistency.

With regards to spelling and grammar, I'm not much help. I'm atrocious at both and leave that side to my copy editor.

monkeytree Tue 07-Feb-17 13:16:28

Thanks Getahaircut

You've hit the nail on the head I think when you say the excitement is lost at the stage of editing but glad it's not just me who is feeling like this.

Do you pay your copy editor? If so, would you mind telling me the approximate fees please, I really would like someone to do a final edit for me.

GetAHaircutCarl Tue 07-Feb-17 17:14:33

My copy editor works at my publishers ( or she may be free lance and they instruct her) so I don't pay.

I don't know how much she charges them. Sorry.

whatsagoodusername Tue 07-Feb-17 17:21:30

This bit is usually pretty hard-going! The fun part is done and it's just work... Usually they need going over a few times too before you get to the finer details of grammar.

Congratulations on getting the first draft done though! It's a great accomplishment!

monkeytree Tue 07-Feb-17 20:10:58

Hi
Thank you for your responses ladies it's helped with morale and good (but bad) to know I am not alone with feeling this way. I'm going to my writers group on Thursday but I don't think anyone there is at the same stage - most are writing first draft if they are writing a novel.

I think I will need to start a thread about cost of editing as I'm planning to go it alone and self publish. Part of the proceeds from any sales, I plan to donate to charity so I need to keep production costs down .

Thank you once again for your responses

Witchend Fri 10-Feb-17 12:55:28

I'm editing too.
I think the same thing as you, in that the first draft I rattled off in less than a month, so editing seems to be taking ages.
I've been through and corrected any obvious contradictions, got dd2 to read it and give her ideas and redid some of it, and just finished reading it to ds.

You know, it's funny, but I thought I'd been through it so carefully for typos, read it out loud etc, but I found ever so many when reading out loud to ds. blush

I'm now correcting one of the characters that dd2 didn't get. That may well be her half term task, to reread and make more comments.

Had a very funny moment when reading to ds, when the younger brother used one of his phrases when he wants a day off. "You don't care if I die while I'm at school." There was a dawning realisation on his face between amusement and horror. grin

monkeytree Fri 10-Feb-17 19:11:42

Hi Witchend

I take it you are writing a young persons book? What a lovely idea getting your children involved, your post did make me smile X

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 10-Feb-17 19:36:45

I've spent a good few hours today doing the second round of copy edits on my latest novel ( this is after two rounds of edits with my editor).

I. Am. Bored.

Witchend Sat 11-Feb-17 16:16:28

Yes, I would put it in the 9-12yo category.
I asked dd2 to read it because the main character has the same disability as her and it was written mostly for her as she complained some time ago that there are two types of characters (after the picture book level) who are disabled:
1. baddies
2. the sympathetic sidekick for whom everything is made about their disability.
She wanted one where the character was "normal" but just happened to be the same as her. It's not quite there because I found I could actually use her disability aids as gadgets, but she enjoyed it.
The character isn't really her though. However the little brother is very much ds, but doesn't appear much, so I was interested to see if he realised. grin
They're now asking if there's a sequel hmm

monkeytree Sat 11-Feb-17 20:14:19

Witchend that's a really smashing thing to do; writing it for your daughter and I wish you all the best with it X
My book tackles an issue too and I have written the book primarily for people affected by the topic. If I manage to sell any copies, I am going to donate some money to a charity related to the theme - that's my plan anyway.

Witchend Sun 12-Feb-17 12:57:01

Thank you!
I hadn't really got as far as thinking someone might pay me for it. smile

It's a lovely idea to donate to a charity connected to it, if (big if) I it published I might do the same. With dd2 that gives me at least 3 she's heavily involved with though.

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