I am trying to collate information on all the things that a writer would do well to apply when he/she gets on to the revision/editing or what some call "Second draft". Few things that I think are of indispensable are toning your characters, dialogues and of course, filling in the gaps in the story. What do you keep in mind while revising?
I so agree. A second pair of eyes worth it.
I can so relate to you. Dialogues is my pain point. I try two things : Read the story aloud to see if the dialogues sound natural and most importantly, (I have heard this from a friend) - talk to you characters. Engage them in dialogues with yourself as if they are real people (they are! :D) so that you are familiar with their reactions, their way of thinking. It helps in keeping their dialogues consistent in the story.
Hope this forum has helped you. That was the exact intention!
Wow. 8-9 drafts? You are brave AND diligent! I cannot imagine sticking with my story for so long. I am very impatient that way.
But very interesting point. A question or a conflict at the end of the chapter pushes the reader forward and your editor is very smart to point that out to you! Introducing new POVs can be useful too but I think I would always be worried about losing the tone of the book as a whole. But that is just me. A well written second POV which furthers the story would actually be good.
Beta readers are a must and they should not include parents! :D
Thanks for the wonderful advice.
I keep constantly getting amazed at how many drafts authors work on! I totally see what you mean by saying "If mama read this". LOL! The first time I read my first draft, my face gets stuck in the same expression - eyes wide in shock, nose flaring, lips in a smirk. You see where I am going. It is so shocking to me! And those are the points where I make big red notes on my manuscript to edit.
Thanks for the advice. Really helpful!
I tried this website "Critiquecircle.com" and it does seem to be a good place to connect with other authors who can give good feedback. That definitely is a good step towards a productive editing. Thanks for responding!
I've been editing Two Halves for a while now. I don't know which draft I'm on, because there are so many. One of the problems I found with a novel just over 100K long, is to make sure I don't repeat myself. Reading out loud in a two day span has helped. I was able to pinpoint exactly what needs to be cut out or re-phrased and what doesn't sound good. From the first edit to now, I cut out approx 20K words, including one full chapter which did not move the story (it was a tough decision, but the novel is better). On my last edit I cut out 2,000 more. Now, I'm using Serenity Edit Software which catches things my eye couldn't catch. Great tool to analyze every single sentence in your novel including grammar, punctuation, quotation, spelling, homonyms, overused words, weak spots etc. After that, one more read out loud and it's ready!
I just checked Serenity Edit Software. Sounds like a very good one but looks like they do not have a good MAC version. Sigh. Wish they had! All the best with the final draft!
With first drafts where word count goes beyond 100K, I think tightening becomes so inevitable. But as you pointed out, adding depth is the key. Sometimes, I feel the book is all about the character. At least, that is way I approach my stories. Thanks for responding!