How To Edit A Novel

How do you edit a novel? You sit down and edit it.

How helpful am I? 

I try.

  • Have a plan. What’s your short-term and long-term goal?  Edit a chapter tonight? Have your entire novel edited by next year? When will you edit? The morning, afternoon, night? How long each time? 20 minutes or 2 hours? What’s your focus? Dialogue, character development, spelling and grammar? At the very least, don’t plan to fail by failing to plan.
  • Have a back-up plan. How often do original plans work out? Or back-up plans for that matter? What if another story seizes you and won’t let you go? Will you write a new story and edit your novel at the same time? What if you lose steam half-way through? Can you steam-roll trough or do you plan to take a break? What if a zombie apocalypse happened today? What if an army of aliens landed tomorrow? You have to prepare for these scenarios.
  • Execute. Plans don’t work unless you do. Novels don’t edit themselves. What other common saying can I twist to my liking?
  • Adjust and adapt. If something isn’t working for you, what do you do? You change it. Fix whatever is broken. Even if nothing is broken but you know your routine could be improved, improve it.

If only I followed my own advice. 

    Editing · Writing

    5 Things Editors Aren’t (But Sometimes Are)

    What you need to know before you read this article:

    1. I awoke at some ungodly hour in the morning.
    2. I played with said idea in my head while semi-conscious.
    3. I wrote this post while the sky was still black.

    At this point you might be wondering why I’m sharing this information with you. Why in the world should you care?

    Because most of my posts are written on at least 6 hours of sleep, conjured when conscious, and penned with the help of natural light.

    On to matters that matter.


    • They aren’t your “fall” guy or girl. First of all, if anyone ever says to me something along the lines of, “You were my editor yet you failed to catch this error”…I’ll secretly murder you in my next book. You can’t blame your editor for anything because it’s the writer’s name that gets slapped on the front, back, and center of a book—not the editor’s. It’s your responsibility then to be an editor as much as it’s your responsibility to be a writer.
    • They aren’t your friend first and foremost. Their job is to break you and your writing. Your job is not to be broken by it. If it crushes your ego to seek out advice from editors, why are you in this business? Editors are editors. While you may think they are your friends, when it comes to editing, both the writer and editor must put aside that friendship temporarily.
    • They aren’t holding a gun to your head, forcing you to change something. Maybe you envision your editor doing so, but really, you’re the writer of the article. Therefore, you  must write the story the way you want it to be written.
    • They aren’t holding your hand, walking you through the process. Editors weren’t put on this earth to solve all your problems.
    • They aren’t miracle workers. Then again, sometimes they are.

    A List Of Weak Words That Weaken Your Writing

    I am not saying you cannot use these words. I am mentioning them because most of the words below are used either too frequently or become so redundant in your writing, it would be wise to limit your use of these words. Which is why repeating some of these words over and over and over again can make your writing either really boring at best or weaken your writing at worst. As a writer you don’t ever want to risk sounding boring, incompetent, or unqualified.

    Hey, a quick search of your manuscript, novel, or essay might surprise you. You never know.

    So find some of the words below, weed them out, and watch as your writing grows stronger.

    • Really
    • Very
    • Some
    • Rather
    • Quite
    • Most
    • In
    • On
    • To
    • At
    • Suddenly
    • That
    • Down
    • Up
    • Back
    • Now/Then
    • Was/Is/Are/Am/Were
    • Came
    • Went
    • Got
    • Looked
    • Had
    • Just
    • A lot
    • -ing
    • -ly

    Especially useful for those of you who participated in Camp NaNoWriMo a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month. Your novel can certainly do without most of the words mentioned above.