We’re going on an edit hunt,
We’re going to catch some big ones,
What a lot of track changes,
We’re not scared.
Oh no, a repetition!
We can’t just avoid it
We can’t just ignore it
We will just have to deal with it
It was pretty dark in that editing cave some days and I spent an awful lot of time in there earlier in the year while I completed the final edits of my second novel ‘Closing In‘.
It was a good process as, unlike my first novel which had been edited a great deal before it was seen by my publishers, ‘Closing In’ had only been seen by my lovely Romaniac friend, Jan Brigden. She had cast her eagle eye over it when it was a mere novella. Since then it morphed into a much bigger story, so I was rather apprehensive sending it into the publishers.
I thought I’d share a few of the things that have been picked up along the long editing road.
Over-use of certain words
I use the word ‘just’ an awful lot. I did actually know this already, so I went through my manuscript and managed to half the amount of times it appeared. A lot of the time is wasn’t needed or could be easily replaced with ‘simply’, ‘merely’ or ‘only’ depending on the context.
I took out the word ‘seem’ in a lot of the sentences, as I felt it diluted the impact of what I was trying to convey. For example, ‘The cold seemed to seep up from beneath her …’ became ‘The cold seeped up from beneath her …’
The revised version, I felt, was much stronger.
Not to repeat myself
I don’t mean the obvious ones of using the same word twice in a short a space of time but where the sentence has become convoluted, a bit waffly, drawn out – saying the same thing but with different words. (See what I did there? 🙂 )
‘… in his usual polite way, as he always did.’ became ‘… in his usual polite way.’
The same when two characters were having a telephone conversation. Originally I had written ‘… he ended his call with Ken.’ On the read through, I realised that identifying Ken wasn’t necessary – who else would he be ending his call with? So that simply became ‘… he ended his call.’
‘Dark shadows’ – aren’t all shadows dark? So, here, I deleted the word ‘dark’.
I would be remiss of me not to acknowledge my editor and thank her for all the hard work she put into the manuscript too. Having input from someone who has no personal connection with the manuscript is invaluable and, I’d say, vital.
Final Read Through
I like to send the edited document to my Kindle for a final read through (Click here for a post how to do this). It’s amazing what you spot reading it in a different format to the one you composed it in.
‘Closing In‘. is very different to ‘United States of Love’ but I really enjoyed writing it and hope readers enjoy it too.