Are you fed up with writers block? Is this your third story in as many days? The process is more difficult than it seems.
This is part 2. I encourage you to go back and read part 1 if you haven’t already.
Know what you wont change
At this point I like to set the work aside for a couple of weeks, and even up to a month. This distance gives me perspective. Sentences and scenes that were once dear to me no longer hold that same sweet spot. I am brutally honest with myself. After a month I go back and read it once again. In the case of Pangea I was pleasantly surprised. Some of it held up surprisingly well. Other parts were not so lucky.
As I read through it I make a list. What am I unwilling to change? For instance: Do I really care about that internal struggle for revenge? Is that a quest I really want my protagonist to embark upon or can it be changed? Is that name so crucial to the story that I won’t change it. I know this might seem strange, but some stories are based around a name. Think of Percy Jackson, the name Percy ties it back to the original Greek mythology.
After this brutal edit, I re write any parts that it is necessary to re write and I start working on sentence structure. In Pangea I evoke a lot of old world imagery. I do this using sentences and words.
— And Shâgâh thus called upon, turned his gaze towards the Queen, and with seductive promises granted her wish, if only she would serve his purposes for a moment.–
But there are times that using an older style of writing makes the sentences clunky and clumsy. I had to re write many of them.
When I’m happy with the result I send it to my editor. I have a brilliant editor who is very honest. When I received my first version of the manuscript back it contained around 600 corrections in a single chapter. I was horrified but thankful. What if I had self published? LISTEN – even if you are self publishing, send your work to a professional editor. I accepted nearly every change the editor noted. There were a few I didn’t because I felt it might affect the atmosphere I was trying to create at that time. But the number of changes I did not accept are listed on one hand.
Second Professional Edit
I don’t think everyone has to do this. But I have a secondary edit team as well. I’m paranoid that my novel will be read by the big wide world and not taken seriously due to grammar edits. This team hopefully catches everything the first didn’t. This second edit begins on March 15th and is the final edit before publishing. The ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) is already out there, but the finishing touches must be made before the final novel is produced.
It’s a long process, but it’s worth it. When I read my novel now (Even before this last step) I am so much happier with it. It flows better, it reads easier and it’s not so confusing.
So when you write. If it’s just for fun, go ahead and knock yourself out. Do what you wish.
If you want to create a novel, count the cost and realize it’s worth. Don’t kid yourself. IT IS WORTH IT!