Editing A Novel: Seven Steps

As some of you know, I am in the midst of my first full-length novel, “Searching for Katherine.” Well, here’s the scoop – I’ve finished writing it!

*runs around thsuccess_next_exit-life-goalse room screaming with excitement*

However, now comes the hard part – EDITING!

*hides in the corner and cries*


In my situation, I have to take out the boring narrative and add more interesting parts in. I’m currently on about 30,000 words and have decided to use a seven-step drafting process:

  • Draft 1: Read through, make basic notes and then change.
  • Draft 2: Read all the way through and note small issues.
  • Draft 3: Flow – does the story flow? Is there a clear beginning, middle and end?
  • Draft 4: Dialogue and narrative/description corrections.
  • Draft 5: Plot holes, fact-checking, etc.
  • Draft 6: Does it fit the themes?
  • Draft 7: Grammar check and a final read through.

After your own personal drafting, you then should hand your manuscript over to proof-readers, three’s the magic number (preferably with different ages and reading tastes.) Then you cry as they repeatedly comment on your lack of plot and time lapsing.

I hope this helps, but in all honesty: you will develop your own screening process for your work.

TIP: Don’t edit straight way – you’ve literally just finished writing it. Give yourself a few days grace, write some silly stories and watch loads of movies. Chill out! Then, in a few days, a week or even a few months, come back to your manuscript and start drafting.

I wish you luck with your novels, as I hope you wish me luck with mine!