Editing is such a vital, and long, stage of the novel writing process. Personally, it’s my favourite stage. I love turning my early words and ideas into something stronger. Without a doubt, there are some essentials tools and resources that I use to get me through. Take a look;
In the draft stage, it’s important not to get distracted, and researching as you go can lead you down a rabbit hole. But when editing, it’s the time to fill in the gaps. Research tools might include books, internet resources, or documentaries. This can be to find facts, to add authenticity to settings, or develop characters.
Pen and paper
If you’re editing on your laptop, keep pen and paper at your side too. You might come up with ideas for chapters further on, or think of questions you need to answer. Jotting this down as you go can help you keep up your momentum, and stop you from forgetting important things you may need to work on.
I love this book, and use it for all my editing. The Emotion Thesaurus offers insight into a number of emotions, including the physical, mental and internal sensation associated with those feelings. It’s a great way to add to your descriptions, and inspire your character body language and inner thoughts. I keep this at my side while editing, always.
I love a checklist. I have my own step by step guide to editing a scene/chapter that I use, but I am also a huge fan of author K.M.Allan’s checklists, that she shares on her blog. You can click here to find all her brilliant lists, my favourites are the weak words and chapter checklists. These vital tools help you strengthen your prose, and overall develop your writing.
A separate document
Keep open a separate document, be it word or scrivener, or whatever word processor your use. As you edit, you may decide to take out conversations, descriptions or even whole scenes that are not needed or slow down your pace. However, you don’t need to get rid of those words forever. You wrote them, and you never know when they might be useful to refer back to. So copy and paste them into a separate document, so you can always refer back if you need to.
Editing isn’t easy – so treat yourself! I like to keep tea and biscuits at my side, or sometimes coffee and cake. Whatever it is that keeps you going or acts as a reward, go get it!
What are your editing must-haves? Drop a comment below to share what aids you and keeps you going.