The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 114 – How to Edit Your Novel
You've finished the first draft of your novel. GREAT! Now, how do you tackle edits?
We've got you covered. In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of different editing methods, take a peek at how Autumn runs her edits, and what you can do if you really aren't a fan of editing (like Jesper).
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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to the Am Writing Fantasy podcast in today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt, and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I am Jesper
and I'm Autumn.
This is episode 114 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. And this is one off Autumn's favorite Topics. And for me, not so much.
That's fair enough though. I have to admit, I have been so up to my nose and edits recently that maybe it's not quite as favorite as it is at other times of the year.
No. Okay. Fair enough. Well, we're going to talk about how to edit your novel today. So hopefully that'll prove very helpful for listeners. Yes, I think so. And I definitely, the first time I said was editing, I was a mess and I didn't know where to start. And I think a lot of re writers they're really good at writing, but they don't know how to tackle edits in an organized way. That is the most efficient and I love efficiency. So this should be a good topic. I hope. Yeah, for sure. But how have things been over the last week? Have you broken anything, any websites or computers you have messed up coding? That's so not fair.
Jesper (1m 40s):
A question. Oh, it's bad. I did to finish up that story. I did get my laptop back from the Apple Replair repair place and they ended up, I think if I hadn't had stickers on the back of my laptop, they would have just given me a whole new whole new laptop, but they took off my old screen, put it on a whole new base and I have new batteries, a new logic board, a new video graphic card. I have everything but more memories.
Autumn (2m 7s):
So because they refuse to upgrade the memory in the year of computer I have, but I have all my files. And so my laptop is working famously and I love it. I love the new keyboard. The old keyboard was crap. So I actually enjoy typing on this one, which is kind of nice for a novelist, but yeah, everything was going smoothly and I was catching up on work. And then our hosting agency for the websites got hacked and luck knock on wood. I happened to have been in there almost the exact same time it happened. And all they had done was just changed a few emails, you know, kind of weasel in through a few back doors.
Autumn (2m 50s):
And my husband and I spent the next three days blocking cleaning and upgrading and updating and doing a whole bunch of stuff. And that kind of like it was book, I'm a writer. I thought I was like a cyber stalker worm killer. I don't know. It was just a nightmare. It's just not our month. It's my year. I keep thinking about your comment that said, you know, now, you know what your characters feel like. And I'm like, I feel like the main character in someone's favorite novel right now, because it's just, as soon as I get a chance to catch my breath. Whew. Right on the roller coaster again.
Autumn (3m 29s):
Oh my goodness. Hopefully you'll get a break tonight where I feel so bad for my characters. Now, if this is like, if it's like, I should just come with a warning, this is to not touch, may break something very quickly. So yeah. So that's my life. How are you doing? I hope it's calm over there.
Jesper (3m 55s):
Well, yeah, compared to all the rest of the world, luckily enough, you're the one dealing with those issues, even though it's a, of course also my issue with such, but you're dealing with it, so I don't have to worry about it. So I guess while you were doing all of that, I finished up watching Vikings. So on HBO, that sounds horrible.
Autumn (4m 18s):
Don't tell me how it is. I haven't finished it yet. We're still watching it. It's one of our rotations. So it's taking forever to get through the last episodes.
Jesper (4m 27s):
Okay. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. But by the time this episode airs, I will have posted a video in our Facebook group for readers sharing my thoughts about the show. I'm not going to do any spoilers or anything like that, but, but I, I just thought I, I would talk a bit about the endings without any spoilers, but more like the idea about it. Because I mentioned, I think I'm one of the quite recent podcast episodes as well. I mentioned the ending of game of Thrones and I know, well, we have a lot of haters on the internet about that show, but, but I was mentioning quite recently how I liked that they wrapped up each character arc very well in game of Thrones.
Jesper (5m 11s):
Yes they did. And I, and I was very pleased that they actually did the same thing here. So I liked it. Oh, good. Yeah. Very good. Ending to the six seasons. As far as I know that I'm not going to do any more episodes. I don't think that they at least, so I think this is the end of the series as a whole. And I actually think they left it in a good place. So I was very positive about DHEA, the ending of it all that gives me something to look forward to unless I break the TV. Well, yes, you might want your husband to turn on the persona, press play and stuff like that.
Autumn (5m 49s):
He won't let me have the remote at this point. I'm surprised I'm allowed in the kitchen.
Jesper (5m 54s):
Yeah. Or even on a podcast.
Autumn (5m 55s):
At least the podcast is still recording it's because you're hosting.
Jesper (6m 0s):
Oh, right. Yeah. Maybe. Yeah. But as I said, I'm going to share some thoughts in the Facebook group and well, this is of course the Redis group we have on Facebook. But if any of the listeners should be interested in that, just search for fans of immersive fantasy among the Facebook groups. And you will find one that is called fans of immersive fantasy Redis club for the world of Elysium. Yeah. So that's what it's called.
Autumn (6m 27s):
Yeah. That's us.
Jesper (6m 29s):
So you're welcome to join if you want, but to keep in mind that this is a group for fiction readers. So we do not share any kind of author advice or any of the other usual stuff. You, you, you get in the am writing fantasy, our Facebook group. So it's a very different compared to that one, but you're welcome to join. Of course, if you're interested.
Autumn (6m 51s):
Narrator (6m 51s):
Oh, a week on the internet with the yam writing fantasy podcast
Jesper (6m 58s):
First, can I just mention that something came across all over my Facebook feed? So I don't know if you noticed, but the Jeff Bezos announced a quite here recently that he was stepping down as the CEO of Amazon. Did you notice that?
Autumn (7m 18s):
I, yes. Adam told me about it. My husband.
Jesper (7m 22s):
Right. And then of course, I don't know if we authors are just like Chronicle worried about all kinds of things. I don't know. But then I noticed some posts on my feet where some authors were concerned now because when Jeff Beto started out Amazon, it was like an online bookstore that he started. So he, and we know he likes books and then people starting to get concerned that, well, if Jeff is gone, then he's the guy who loves the books. What will then, will that end up having some sort of effect on KDP? So what do you think about that?
Autumn (8m 5s):
I'm not a worrier. And so I read it to me. It's always been Amazon might not. It won't. I mean, there's just no way. It's always going to be the number one place to buy books. Things will change. And that's why you should build your own fan base and mailing lists. Because if Amazon went belly up tomorrow, that way you'd still have a way of reaching readers, you know, that's very true, indeed.
Jesper (8m 29s):
I honestly think it matters absolutely nothing. It's not going to change anything that Jeff Bezos is not the CEO anymore. I really don't think so. I think the readers are so active and it's a part of Amazon that unless it was making, unless it was losing money, they wouldn't cut it off.
Autumn (8m 49s):
No, I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever. And it's just one of those things that can we please stop worrying about all kinds of stuff that doesn't really matter. It's just the unnecessary spend of your mental capacity and resources. It's a, Oh my God. I don't know if we authors or just a worried bunch in general, but it's just, Oh, I wouldn't.
Jesper (9m 12s):
I was not laughing at the post because obviously somebody is truly worried, so it was not, but I was more like, ah, Jesus, can we, can we move on a bit instead?
Autumn (9m 23s):
It's not like chicken little, the sky is falling. The sky is falling about every new thing. I just, I'm not a worrier about things like that. I'm much a wait and see kind of person. So I will monitor the trends, but I'm not, I'm not exclusive to Amazon. So I'm not that worried.
Jesper (9m 43s):
No true. But all right there, the really big thing that we needed to mention here instead is that for the first time in six months we have our online writing course open.
Autumn (9m 55s):
Yes. Whew. I always love it. When the ultimate fantasy writer's guide is open again. It's still my little baby.
Jesper (10m 3s):
Yeah. So I have a very short testimonial sunk clip from past students that I want to play now. And then maybe afterward, you can explain a bit about what the course is about open.
Autumn (10m 13s):
I will try to explain, you know, how my week's going.
Jesper (10m 16s):
Oh, well that's true. Unless your internet breaks by the time I've played this. Okay. Well, here it goes.
Catherine (10m 31s):
Hi everyone. I'm Catherine. I'm currently working my way through the ultimate fantasy writers guide and I've been finding it very helpful. One of my main problems has been plotting. I had a very hard time getting my plot to go through and have continuity after going through the workshops for the plotting section I have now got a full plot and have begun writing. It has been very helpful for me and I'm sure you will find it very helpful too. Thanks.
Jan (11m 3s):
Hi, I'm Jan B read fantasy author and I just watched autumn bread's launch day module. It was a really informative, had a lot of great information. She had ideas I had never thought of before really excited to implement her ideas and launching my own book. I highly recommend the ultimate fantasy writer's guide because it's one of the best programs I've ever seen. It not only covers pretty much everything about writing from start to finish, including fan bases and staying confident and everything. It also has things like languages and naming your characters based on that.
Jan (11m 47s):
And it has Map making it. It's just so excellent.
Jesper (11m 57s):
Map-making that's just like, Oh, I love my,
Autumn (12m 2s):
I, yeah, we both have that. That's what brought us together almost as fantasy maps. So that's how we first really started talking. So go figure.
Jesper (12m 11s):
Yeah. So maybe you can share a bit about what's in this course.
Autumn (12m 16s):
Sure. Well, it's 12 modules and the first six, the first half are all about writing from everything, from idea development to characters and world-building magic rules from magic. So this is a four, it is designed for fantasy author. So I made it, you know, we made it so that it would go this way. Cause you've definitely helped me on it. After my initial attempt, you've gone through it all as well. And after that, it goes, it breaks down the actual writing process into writing the beginning, writing the middle, you know, the mushy middle and writing the end and the components that go into each of those areas. And there's just some advanced writing tips. So those first six modules are really all about how to write.
Autumn (12m 58s):
But if you're a self-published author, you know, writing is literally only half of the game. So the other six modules are all about building fans about editing, huh? That's today's topic today on a podcast where you go, how to make time and stay motivated. Because if you're working, if you have kids, if you have a family that's, that's its own issue and then you know, other platforms and what are the funny, I still remember the, one of the questions when I upload it up loading my debut novel born of water was that, you know those questions on Amazon and how do you answer them into my really answering them correctly? The first time you go through it, it is definitely like, Oh shoot, you don't know what to do.
Autumn (13m 41s):
So it goes through all of those questions and what you need to know have do when you go to upload and how to launch your book, launch it to fans, how to get reviews and how to take all of that. If you want to keep going and make an career, make an author platform, an author brand and talks about that. So it really steps you through, from having an idea to having a platform all in one course, because I wanted, I was tired of all these places that just like buy this one here, buy that one there. And then they often contradict each other. No, it's, it's all in one course, one voice it'll get you there. Steadily shortly has as long as it takes you to get through it all.
Jesper (14m 22s):
Yeah. And the courses online as well. It is self-paced so you can do it from the safety of your home. And I think these days that's pretty good.
Autumn (14m 32s):
I love, I have loved that. We do have a live component. We have the student Q and a every month and I really just, I love it. I love seeing students and hearing about what they're doing and what they're writing. It's just a total perk me up kind of day.
Jesper (14m 48s):
Absolutely. And it's also the first course we created, which means that over the years we've had out of quite a few bonus modules to the cost. So you will get access to those too. And as well, I should mention that there is a 30 day money back guarantee. No questions asked. So if you don't like the course after purchasing it, you just let us know and we will get you a refund and we're not going to ask why or anything. We'll just refund your money. And it's simple as that. Yes, I exactly, I it's, you can't lose by trying it out and seeing if it's gonna work for you. And I really hope it does because it is full of everything that has made a difference in my writing my career and how things have gone and why I'm a full-time author now.
Jesper (15m 32s):
So I hope it helps you to. Yeah. So we've included a link to the course in the show notes. So if this is something that you think will be useful for you, you need to go and check that out, but you have to be quick about it though, because we're closing the course for another six months a week after this episode airs. So you'll need to get in before the seventh of much. Otherwise it's going to be closed again. So yeah, don't tell you around or whatever you say, dilly dally do not delete Allie, come and join us.
Narrator (16m 12s):
Autumn (16m 15s):
Jesper (16m 18s):
Yeah. You sound much more enthusiastic already than I do.
Narrator (16m 22s):
Well, I want to start with a quote. One of my favorite quotes is definitely having ways. It is a write drunk, edit sober. I just love that one. And it is very true because writing tipsy can help the flow of creativity. But when it comes to editing, you need to have a clear head. I don't think it's very healthy though. Long-term drinking well.
Jesper (16m 48s):
Yeah. Okay. But if you get tipsy, if, I mean, there was the other advice that you should write every day. So if you're getting tips, I think is probably not the best of combinations.
Autumn (16m 58s):
I think pirates would make really good writers.
Jesper (17m 1s):
Oh yes. Maybe actually they would make good writers. Vikings would be excellent writers.
Autumn (17m 8s):
Yeah. There you go. See, you just need to find the right audience.
Jesper (17m 14s):
Yeah. That might actually be true. But I was thinking that maybe we could go through some different ways. One can edit a novel and maybe she has some pros and cons on the different approaches or absolutely.
Autumn (17m 28s):
And I definitely, I mean, for me, I wanted to share to like my organization, how I see it as different layers and different levels because by doing that, you can refine it without wasting too much time.
Jesper (17m 42s):
So I think those are important too, but let's I want it.
Autumn (17m 44s):
So you found some different types or topics of editing?
Jesper (17m 49s):
Well, more like some different ways of doing it, I guess more so I could think of four different ways and there might be a bit of overlap in them too, to some degree, I guess. But yeah, the first one I had was basically edit as you go. And this is certainly not something I recommend doing, but I guess the pro of doing that is that once the manuscript is done, it's done now.
Autumn (18m 27s):
Yeah. That's it that's pretty nice. I always, there was a writer I knew when I had my previous job as a conservationist and when I went to visit him and we talked to was a comfort, you know, we I'd worked with soils and plants and things. And so he would put it in terms. He thought I would understand. He he's like in the, in the gardener in the morning, I, I go and tend, you know, I plant my vegetables and in the afternoon I weed. So that was, he did edit as he goes in the morning, he would write in the afternoon he would edit. And I always say, well, that's a fun way of doing it. But I also think he was non-fiction. And so I think it's easier. But with fiction, I, there are times we just had this discussion in the am writing fantasy group.
Autumn (19m 9s):
Cause we, this was a recent post and there are times, and there are people who do edit as they write. I think that you would have to be a good plotter so that, you know, you're not wasting your time editing something that you're going to end up cutting, but it's so much easier to edit something written.
Jesper (19m 27s):
Yeah. And th that was also the con I have with this one is basically that you do run the risk that let's say you get to chapter 35 and then you figure out, Oh, shoot, I need to change something back in chapter 20, which is now fully edited. So you put in the man hours to, to do the editing and now you have to go back and change this, which means you have to edit it again. So, and let's say that maybe you haven't plotted that well, so you have a bit of a mess on your hand, which then means that by chapter eight and 11 and 14 and 17 and 18 and so on, there's stuff you need to correct. Yeah. You're going to spend quite a lot of time re editing the same stuff again after changing it.
Jesper (20m 11s):
So I'm not a hundred percent fan of this approach. So I must admit no.
Autumn (20m 16s):
Well, I, I really try to avoid it. There's times I will go back and edit in. Like I recently realized I was missing a point of view of a character that I really thought when I realized it was important as three quarters of the way through the novel. So I had to go back and add like two or three chapters in that was editing. And sometimes there's just like, I realized that there's something that's wrong and I just need to get it right. Or it's not flowing correctly. So I'll go and edit. But in general, I just leave myself notes and I wait until I go through my first layer
Jesper (20m 48s):
Of editing before I go and tackle real edits, the true edits. Otherwise I just, just leave notes for yourself. I have a whole folder in Scrivener. That's just editing notes of things. I want to go back in and change, or I do it where I go and it's available through it's there so that I can go back and, you know, put it like right in the Scrivener file, right in the chapter. I need to go in edit. I'll just add a comment or a note saying, Hey, add this into.
Autumn (21m 20s):
Hmm. Yeah. Yeah.
Jesper (21m 23s):
I, I also feel like, I mean, I don't know why I've burnt my burned myself and learn my lessons. And if not, when I got like 50 K words into the first book I wrote and then figured out that I had to digital thing, just imagine if I hit as, Oh my God. Plus I would say that Maybe it doesn't matter too much if you're very seasoned, but at least when you're starting out, I think there's a lot of value in completing something. Yes. And if you're editing as you go, it takes you forever to complete that manuscript. Whereas if you just push through and get a bit of a messy draft done, at least you got something done.
Jesper (22m 9s):
And then I think you said it before.
Autumn (22m 10s):
Jesper (22m 11s):
Then you can start going back into something you actually have, but, but it just that the art of, or the experience of proving to yourself that you can finish a first draft. There's a lot of value in that. And for that alone, I would almost say, don't edit as you go.
Autumn (22m 30s):
Yeah. I, my, I completely concur, especially for your first few novels. Don't don't do it. Don't get yourself trapped in the editing and not finishing finish and then edit it's. One of the things say we teach in the guide is, you know, right. The goal is actually to write for a short, bad book, just a short, bad manuscript. Maybe it should be just write it and then add to it and then enhance it because that is, it's much more possible. It's easier to do when you have something there and you see the whole story arc, all the characters when you have it all there. And you're like, Oh, that's how it ends. Well, now I got to go fix the beginning and that's fine. But yeah, playing the devil's advocate when you and I write together, technically you write and I go back through and I'm writing and editing, but this is like, you know, it's like book 24 for me.
Autumn (23m 22s):
I'm not that. And you're up in the tens now too. So we have it all plotted out so that we can actually work together and stay on the same path. So I'm not that worried about what we're doing, but that's an exception. I will say that because technically I am, it's already written though. You wrote it, but I'm writing in editing at the same time.
Jesper (23m 43s):
Yeah. But I, in that case, I would almost, because there's a difference between sitting and writing the first draft. Let's see. Okay. Yeah. I sit down, I write my chapter one and then I go back and I edit my entire chapter one. And then I write chapter two when I go back and edit chapter two and so on all the way through. Right. But what you're getting, you're getting a full book basically. I mean the entire first draft is there when you get it from me. So yes, you are editing as you go. And of course you will also writing in the chapters and you are adding to it, but, but the novel is there. So to speak of the bones of it.
Jesper (24m 23s):
Is there already?
Autumn (24m 25s):
Yes. So it's sort of a different process.
Jesper (24m 28s):
Yeah, I think it is. Yeah. Well, somebody can judge us on that. That's Okay.
Autumn (24m 33s):
If you want to, we can take it easily after the week I've had please judge me on my writing techniques or my editing techniques. That's fine. All right. So what's the next one that you have as a method?
Jesper (24m 49s):
Yeah, the next one I had was I'm doing a content edit and then afterwards doing all the like grammar would copy editing and so on and so on. Right. So basically what I mean by that is doing multiple passes over it. And the, the upside of doing that is that you're going to end up with a very thorough editing because you have been over the manuscript several times, which means that you should, at least in theory have covered all your basis once you've gone over the last pass. So in the beginning passes, you are not worrying about incorrect commerce or finding the perfect word or stuff like that.
Jesper (25m 33s):
You, you just making sure that the character arcs are there, the stories working and so on, and then you worry about those things in a, in a future pass. So doing that at least. Yeah. I think it's, it gives a very, very good end result. The con is that it can take quite some time to go through it over and over again in different passes. I just,
Autumn (25m 56s):
I agree. I don't think it takes too much time that's because this is my favorite method and it is what I do when I'm writing by myself. The first thing I do is a content edit that usually begins by reading through the entire book, almost as fast as I can, like as if I was a, a reader, but also taking really not meticulous, but really good notes that very specific, like the point of view, the plotting phase, I, cause I know the editor will need it eventually new words and names. I talk about what happens in the plot because I have my initial plot, what I think is going to happen. And then I have what actually does end up happening in the story I use, you know, the census use to make sure that I'm covering all the senses.
Autumn (26m 40s):
I write a very detailed what needs worked and I'm pretty on myself there. And since then I've started opening, you know, my opening hooks, closing hooks to make sure they're varied, making sure that the opening paragraph does, you know, anchored little touches like that. Do I have the setting? The point of view is all that in there. And that is just literally the first round. And after that I go into the ones who are under the, what needs work. I find the ones that are like, Oh my God, this is horrible. What were you thinking? You idiot. And I go and I fix everything in those. And then I start on the going through and doing a coal pass of fixing up everything. And then usually I do one more pass at is more the grammar writing punctuation.
Autumn (27m 24s):
That's usually using at this point, like a grammarly or pro writing aid or something like that. And then I send it to the editor. I used to do eight to 10 passes. So now I've gotten it down to like three to four. I think I'm doing, I have my book. I still remember. I've told you this one before, but I've had readers ask how do you remember that such and such has happened? I'm like, I have read this book 25 times before you've ever even see it. It is ingrained. Plus I have a semi photographic memory. So it's just like between the two, if I forgotten something I'm so disappointed in myself.
Jesper (27m 60s):
Well, at least, at least for me with English, not being my mother tongue and stuff, stuff like that, you know, it's doing multiple passes. It takes a long time And I know I'm not the only one writing in English, even though it's not my mother tongue. I mean, I know we have listeners, I can see it in the, in the podcast that we have listeners for from many, many different places. So there are certainly other people who is in the same situation. And I think that they will, hopefully I hope sympathize with me in the sense that the less passive
Autumn (28m 41s):
And I think a lot of people, I am surprised. I think there's in my mindset is definitely organization and structure and the, I thrive on that. And so the multiple pace passes to me feel good because I'm actually going through, like, I can do three or four chapters a day. I feel like I'm making huge progress. I go, boom, boom, boom. I'm through the whole book. I started again and do the whole thing. And like two weeks later, I've completely two, three weeks. I've gone through the whole book and I think it's fine. I don't, I even when I'm writing them that way, if I'm in the same chapter for two to three days, I feel like the chapter is never going to end. I usually just do a summary and I skip ahead because I cannot stand to sit there on the same thing for day after day after day.
Autumn (29m 25s):
I like lots of irons in the fire. I like getting through things. So it works well for me because it's very fast. Lots of facets.
Jesper (29m 33s):
Yeah. That's funny you say that because actually for me, it's sort of the opposite in the sense that if I have to go back to the same again, I feel it really annoying. It's like, I'm not moving ahead. I'm not getting anywhere because now I'm at the same chapter again. So I really like to, it might be done, but I'd like to do one chapter and then it is done because then I'm not going back to that chapter. I know I can tick it off my to-do list and I know it's gone, whereas going back and redoing it, I don't know. It annoys me. Well, I don't like editing in the hall, but it's true.
Autumn (30m 15s):
I mean, every author is different and that's why even writing courses and everything else could be. So you've got to figure out all the advice and figure out what works for you, because that is going to what helps you flourish as a writer and as an editor. And obviously some authors are never going to be fantastic editors. They might need to go through a much more in depth hiring an editor that can handle more than just punctuation or, I mean, I tend to go through just proofreading. I don't really need a content edit. I don't need someone. Who's going to pick out too many awkward sentences. I know which ones at this point are pretty bad. I just need a proofreader. But other authors are going to want to have maybe a different level, have a beta reader, an alpha reader to help them develop some things that they would miss otherwise because they just, they don't have that editor instinct.
Jesper (31m 7s):
No. Yeah, that's absolutely true. So my next one is very similar, but it is more like instead of doing multiple passes, you just go in one, pass over the entire thing. But the thing is here and that this is where, I mean, there might be a bit of overlap with the ones that I already mentioned. Right. But because to some extent, we talked about editing as you go. We also talk talked about doing the multiple passes, but, but basically for this one to work, and this is to be honest, my preferred way of editing, but first to work, you have to have a pretty thorough outline.
Jesper (31m 52s):
So that can be no plot holes. That can be no character arcs ending up in nowhere, all of a sudden and stuff like that. Right? So you have to have it so that you can basically as a, well, I sort of alluded to it to it a second ago, but you can edit a chapter at a time and you know, that once you're done with that, it is done. Meaning that once I get to chapter 25, I'm not going to discover something that requires me to go back to chapter eight and, and redo some part of that. So you can understand that for this to work, the outline has to be very, very solid, right? So it also means that you are going to spend some more time in the outlining phase because you have to work out all the well, should we just call them different things, but you need to make sure that there is nothing that is missing or something that is inconsistent and stuff like that.
Jesper (32m 47s):
But if you do that, then you are gonna basically be able to edit the entire manuscript one chapter at a time. And as soon as you're done with the chapter, you're not going to see it again. And yeah, that's my preferred way of doing it because I hate redoing chapters again and again and again, but to some extent is probably also why I don't like editing in the first place because once I've gotten the story out of my head and onto the page, I really don't want to visit it again now. So
Autumn (33m 20s):
That seems fair enough. And I think this one though, you'd, if you're a pantser, this one is possible. If you do what I said first, if you do that first read through, take notes on everything that happens and, you know, get your, even, like I said, the new words and names or your setting, get all that information to a spreadsheet, a table. See, it's make sure everything needs sense. So, you know, make sure that at that point, if you're are, then you'd go back and look at your plot, make sure everything's fine. Put in your notes of what needs to be fixed. And then start doing the chapter one chapter two, chapter three, and just finish each one as you go. So if you didn't plot it in the first place, if you basically plot it on the second on the backend and then fix it, you could still do it as just like, basically, I don't know if you call that first one, a pass or just a read through.
Autumn (34m 7s):
It's not really, you're not editing, you're just taking notes, but it helps you, especially. I mean, I remember the first time, I mean, I know with you to the F ignoring the debut novel, which for everyone takes more than a year, unless you really know what you're doing with writing. So go to your second novel. It, it still took me about our year to write rule of fire and edit it. And so when you go back to that chapter, number one, you're like, Oh, I haven't seen this for a while and you need to reread it before you can really tackle, edits, even if you've plotted it. Because sometimes you're just like, Oh gosh, I can't remember what I even wrote there. So it feels good to do that. Read through, get yourself organized and then tackle your edits chapter by chapter.
Autumn (34m 50s):
You can certainly do this.
Jesper (34m 55s):
Hmm. Yeah. Well, or you can find somebody to do the editing for you.
Autumn (35m 1s):
I would say that's true. But I definitely, I have worked, have worked with slash seen something that literally looked like someone had written and then sent off to an editor and it didn't even have the dialogue tags don't do that. Don't don't, don't, don't don't ever do that, go through your work and at least put in like the quotation marks and things like that.
Jesper (35m 24s):
Yeah. It was probably my delivery that wasn't too. I was trying to make it feel fair to say that you get a writing partner and then you get her to do the editing and then you don't have this problem anymore.
Autumn (35m 36s):
That's true. Hmm. I wasn't actually implying, Oh, Hey, I've started to rethink this. No, absolutely not. I do enjoy writing with you and editing. So that's fair enough. Yeah. Well,
Jesper (35m 55s):
As usually we're lucky that we're good at different things. Yeah.
Autumn (35m 58s):
Yes. That's very true. And if I found that it's too right, I still have my own back-burner projects going on.
Jesper (36m 7s):
Right. Yeah. That's true. The last thing is not really a fourth way of doing it, to be honest, it's probably more like an add on thing. And I can't say too much about it because obviously I'm not the one editing I want, wanted to put it in here, just because then maybe you could add a bit about how you do it, but this is basically like whether you're doing it as a one go or you do several passes and then this part is about it's incorporated into one of those passes. That's up to you. Right. But what I mean is that it's the use of software. So like pro writing aid, we tested out Pictionary, we tested out autocrat.
Jesper (36m 50s):
And actually we might dive in deeper with these particular tools in future episodes and do a deep dive with them, but more on a high level note, you know, how do you make use of software to help you during editing? Yeah.
Autumn (37m 2s):
Oh, that sounds good because that's definitely, I mean, I've always used Grammarly, but I've recently I ran through AutoCrit and Fictionary and Pro Writing Aid and came up with some pros and cons on a winner. So I definitely think there's some, some things that can be added by using this level and one of them, and that would be sort of my add on to your ad then dumb number three is that you need to find a way of not seeing what you think you wrote, but what you actually put on the page. Oh, AI using the something, a software that can go through and like, say, Hey you did you really mean this word?
Autumn (37m 46s):
Or this is a homonym or you're missing the here having something to do that is useful. And you can do that with something like pro writing aid or you can, they say changing the font size or the text size changing, reading backwards. That was always one of my favorite ones because by reading it and reverse you, don't literally starting at the end paragraph and reading backwards. I usually go paragraph by paragraph, you don't get caught up in the story. And that is the one thing you do not want to do when you're, if you're doing a really intense, final editing round is don't get caught up in your own writing. You have to see the words. You have to see how many times you repeat the same word, because it is a writer's natural habit that when you use one word that you're like, Oh, that's clever.
Autumn (38m 30s):
Your mind is like sticks in your mind and you will use it two or three times on that same page. And you don't want to do that. You want to change things out. You want to find the source. So you want to find a better description, something different, a different sense you can use. And you can do that by going backwards or reading a loud or bigger text something. Yeah.
Jesper (38m 48s):
Loaded on Kindle. I actually quite liked that because when you move the medium on which you read away, you know, away from the computer away from Scribner, wherever it is that you wrote it and onto a different device, for example, on the Kindle, you will automatically read it slightly different because you know, on the Kindle you normally read your books. So your mind set when reading the words is different. Yes. So I quite like that trick as well to just sort of cheat your own mind and put it on Kindle. And then you can just, of course you can just highlight whatever, stay on your Kendall that you'd want to correct or something you can make highlights and notes on the Kindle as well.
Jesper (39m 30s):
So that's not really a problem, but I think it helps you spot things that you necessarily not necessarily would have seen in Scribner. We use Scrivener as an example here as your writing tool.
Autumn (39m 43s):
Yes. I agree. And it's you need to do something. Some people, you know, this is where they say, well, let it sit for three months. Well, in today's publishing world, I mean, especially if you're trying to be a career author, you don't usually have three months. You can let something you edited and is just about ready to be published. CIT, most readers kind of want to get it. So yeah, it's probably going to be something you're going to have to find a way of fooling yourself unless it happened to be book one of a trilogy and you've edited everything and then you're going to go back and release them back to back.
Jesper (40m 17s):
Yeah. But do you use the software as its own kind of pass or do you do it during the other passes that you do? I have
Autumn (40m 28s):
Using it as basically the third pass. So I usually go through my quick read through with all my notes. I go through a second round where I'm fixing everything in the notes and doing a lot more constructive. Story-building maybe bringing out the census things that I think are, are more creative. And when I'm ready to do the proofreading, the store is sorta like, when did I repeat this word too many times the mortar more technical, then I'll use something like a software, because at that point, my mind is more on the technical aspect and not the pretty word or the story building or the plotting. I know all of that is solid. I just need to look at word choice at that point or commerce.
Autumn (41m 12s):
And it's literally, I supposedly left-brain right-brain is not really a thing, but to me it's left brain right brain. So when I have switched over to these sheer technical side, it's I don't have to worry about the creative side anymore, unless I'm trying to choose sumptuous over delightful or something like that.
Jesper (41m 31s):
Right. Okay. Well, very good. Is there more on your process there that you want to share? Otherwise? I think I have a bit of a conclusion for us. Yeah, no, I think I've covered sort of how I do my process. So I think, you know, hopefully it gives someone some tips that there are many ways of editing about the only wrong way. The one we don't recommend is to do it literally as you're writing, especially if you haven't even finished the chapter, don't start editing and doubting yourself, especially if you're using it to just never finished because you don't think it's good enough. That's not the point of editing. If you're starting to do it as an undermining technique technique, and only you don't know if you're doing it that way.
Autumn (42m 12s):
If you have that little writer's voice and the doubt creeping in saying, that's not good enough, you've got to keep working on it. You got to keep worrying and you're never getting anywhere. Just stop, stop that, tell it to shut up and finish your chapter, finished your entire first novel and then go back and learn to edit and edit it. Don't don't give into pushing it, kicking it down the road, finish it. Hmm. Nope. Fair. And I think, well, to some degree, I think you've already mentioned what I wanted to say was the conclusion of all of this. I think, I think you'd actually did too, But then maybe
Jesper (42m 52s):
Just to reiterate, because it is important and the point is just that there is no right or wrong way of editing your novel. It really comes down to testing out the different options and then see what works for you. So we mentioned some options here. I'm sure that maybe, maybe some listeners can think of even more and if you can let us know, but at least we mentioned some options here, some pros and cons to each way of doing it. But I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to actually try out these different options. Not you might, you know, intuitively feel like, I think this one works best for me, but honestly you don't know until you've tried it.
Jesper (43m 35s):
So test them out too. And maybe even you're going to end up finding your own way, which might be a combination of some of them that you like one element from one approach and another from another, and then you combine it it, and then you have something that works for you. So I think that's the best advice we can give when it comes to editing. And it's the same thing. More or less cultural writing in general that you have to find your own path and nobody can tell you how to do it. Yes. And if you can't find your own fath, find a writing partner who has a good path and send it to them. That was part of the conclusion as well.
Narrator (44m 15s):
Okay. So next Monday, we are going to have a bit of fun autumn, and I will share with you 10 terrible ways to creating characters. So you can look forward to that. If you like, what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support the am. Writing fantasy. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Ottoman Yesper on patrion.com/and writing fantasy for as little as a dollar a month, you'll get awesome rewards and keep the M writing fantasy podcast going, stay safe out there and see you next Monday.
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