I am finally doing it. The first draft of my 120,000 word novel is done. It looks like a skeleton and sounds like one but when I am done with it, it will hopefully be something to be proud of.
Am I proud of it right now? In a way yes, but I look at the way I write compared to other author’s finished books and I sink very low in my seat.
I am ready to begin. I even printed it out. Well, most of it. My printer ran out of toner 3/4 of the way through so now I only have part of it but even still, the 314 page stack of papers is about 3 inches thick.
I have a handy dandy crimson Micron pen and already I have begun to scrawl. I am on the sixth page. ( only the sixth. 308 pages left.)
My Recommendations Before You Begin Editing:
- Print out your novel, even if that scares you.
- Hydrate. Drink lots of water.
- Find your favorite bright red pen to edit with.
- Sit down with a snack and read. Out loud. Don’t mark anything yet. Just read the first page.
- Go back over to the beginning and start crossing out, writing side notes, add punctuation, etc.
- Take a break after two or three pages. Really. This project you have decided to take on is going to wear you out.
After going through several pages, head to your typing gizmo and correct your red marked mistakes. I like to do a final proof read of the page with the word “speech” where the computer reads my story back to me. They sound choppy and funny but if a word is spelled wrong ( or weirdly. My fantasy names are hilarious coming from the mouth of the computer) then it will be quite noticeable. I have already fixed many mistakes that my eyes glaze over. Having the computer read it to me a page at a time really helps with flow and clarity.
Overall, I encourage you not to give up. Edit 5 pages a day and you should be done fairly quickly. Bring a page with you in the car, while you are at the library, on your alone time, anywhere. This dream you want can come true but there must be sweat involved. ( and tears of course. There almost always is. I don’t know about blood though. Maybe some if you print your story off and get paper cuts. 😉
Do you have a Novel in the self editing process? What about a short story?