Nitty Gritty Editing

Between yesterday and today, I managed to get through the second edit of my book! Well. Sort of. While going through it this time, and thanks to an article in an article from The Writer magazine I have realized there is FAR MORE work to be done that I realized. Therefore, now that I’ve gone through the entire book a second time I’ve established some very specific next steps that will likely take the rest of the month:

  1. FIX THE TIMELINE: Yup. I noticed some discrepancies as I went through it. How could it be only a week before Christmas, but then a week before Keith Richardson found her at home before Christmas? How come I only accounted for three days at her house, but later they kept referencing it like it was four? Based on the amount of action that took place between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there were either A LOT of weeks or I’m forgetting how much time a few days here and a few days there add up to. . . so I need to pull out a calendar and actually calculate this book out.
  2. Look at and write out physical characteristics: I’m pretty sure at one point Theresa had bushy eyebrows and at another point she had thin eyebrows . . . I wonder how many other people have multiple characteristics at once?
  3. Search for adverbs: I already know that I use too many “ly” words – and the magazine article confirmed it for me. Sigh. This is going to be hard. the “ly” words seem so NECESSARY. How do I describe something BETTER than using an adverb? Can someone direct me to a website where I type in an adverb and it gives me more descriptive words? That would make life a lot easier for me.
  4. Search for adjectives: This I didn’t know until I read the article, but apparently adjectives are ALSO an issue. Therefore I also now need to search my story for things like “high”, “big”, “little”, “many”, and “pretty”. On my own, I noticed I use the words “glanced at”, “a little”, and “a bit” as though they were life-giving water. So I”ll also be looking for those.
  5. Search for filters: This was also an insightful piece from the magazine. So I have to look through the book for anytime a scene is displayed through a filter. In other words when someone “sees” something, is there a better way to describe it than “so and so walked in and saw. . . .”. This one might actually be a fun challenge to figure out.
  6. Make sure everything is actually needed: This one, I have heard from SO MANY SOURCES, and I HATE IT. I love all my words. All my lovely, fluffy, detailed, filler words. But apparently I have to go through it sentence by sentence and make sure each sentence is actually NEEDED. I have to admit, I’ll probably cheat on this one a little and convince myself a lot of them are needed even when they aren’t. . .

And then, I was looking this time through for a way to add more depth – more time for them to be together and talk and be . . .well, more in-depth. But everything seemed to flow so naturally I couldn’t find it. HOWEVER, if I really did mess up on the days before Christmas, then they might have one more day together at the house, so maybe I”ll find it there in which case they can have another in-depth conversation. . . then again, it might be more meaningful if they have it away from the house. . . their time together is a little sparse for them to be in love. I need to think this through some more.

Wish me luck in this editing journey! I’ll need it to make this worth anything.

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