30 July 2016

Writing Secrets 101 | adding detail and fleshing out

Editing and going back through your work with a critical eye is perhaps one of the most tedious jobs of a writer.  I admit it. ;)  I  go read through my work quite frequently -- after all, writing the first draft isn't even half the work -- and so I have become pretty apt at maintaining my patience and attention throughout the process.  I have been known to take an hour on one page of writing.  But, as all you writers must know, editing your work and fixing typos is absolutely necessary.  Some reasons to think about going through your work in depth if you don't already are:
1) To see where your personal writing weaknesses lie.
2) It's nice to keep in line with what you started with in the first chapter and if you have changed your plans, make sure to synchronize those changes throughout your entire novel.
3) To improve and strengthen your novel.
There are certainly more reasons, some of which I am sure you can think of now, but I have not bothered to list them all here.

When I edit, I first like to start off with a fresh copy of my first chapter.  It would preferably be the most recent version of your book. ;)  I tackle my editing one paragraph at a time, splitting the chapter up into sections as shown below:

You can probably see how small the sections I split my paragraphs up into are.  I can fit about six-ish different sections on one page or about that depending on the font and font size.  
Once I have split up all of the pages in one chapter of my book, I write the section number beside the bracket and designate a day for each section. (i.e. June 6 - section #1, June 7 - section #2, June 8 - section #3, . . .etc)  for each day assigned to the section, I focus totally and completely on that one section not paying any attention to other parts.  Add in words everywhere and take out things that don't make sense or have a distinct.  Fix typos, re-arrange words, and replace weak words with stronger ones with help from your thesaurus. ;)  You will be surprised at how much more full and descriptive your section will get.  Here are some examples of my thorough editing skills:

Some of my liquid watercolors spilled on this document! XD. Whoops!

You'll probably only go through your writing with the above hardcore method twice or so because it adds so much and you want your reader to be able to digest your writing. ;)  Another thing to think about concerning editing is, of course, checking your spelling and grammar.  This can be done easily by reading your manuscript out loud to a sibling, friend, relative, or even yourself (in an empty room with the door closed). ;)  My siblings are fantastic listeners, and I also have three wonderful writer friends who are willing to read my stuff any time to look for errors and to give me suggestions.  
You'll find that as you read your manuscript with all these methods, that your writing will improve immensely.  A lot of writers say to save all of your editing till the end of the book, but I personally think that writers should write when they are inspired to, and edit at all other times or you will be overwhelmed at the end of your book with the amount of editing you have to do.  I learned this the hard way and hope to never make the same mistake again. ;)

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post!  Don't forget to give feedback in the comments below, and let me know if you have other editing methods that work better for you.  I'd love to hear from you! <3

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  1. it looks like you cried on your first chapter then crumpled it up and threw it against the wall. lol!! The way you edit looks super cool--I should try it. :D

    1. LOL! Nope, my recently used paintbox of liquid watercolors spilled on that one, then I threw it away forgetting that I wanted to take a picture of how ridiculous it looked for this post. And I extracted it from the trash. ;)
      I'm am so glad you liked this post! I really do hope you try out my editing method. Let me know what you think if you do! :)

  2. LOVE IT!! XD
    Thanks you so much, Sophie!! That helped a lot, but now I can't decide if my writing is too hard to digest because of the voice. ;) lol
    That helped me a lot and got me thinking a ton, thanks again!!
    (CanNOT wait to see you in October!! :D )

    Amelia xxx

    1. THANK YOU! You are so sweet -- I really appreciate your comments.


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