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It took me 18 months to edit my first book, Haven River. Eighteen months! This was due to a combination of things – my ‘real’ job commitments, being such a newbie writer and having no idea what I was really doing and having to go back and re-draft constantly, and health issues (pain prevented me from persevering).

After self-publishing Haven River I drafted a contemporary romance, Aqua Bay, which has clocked in at 72,000 words, double the word count of Haven River.

I’ve learnt so much on the writing journey that I’m hoping it’s not going to take me 18 months to edit Aqua Bay. This time I’m hoping to refine the editing process learning from the mistakes I made first time round.

The Biggest writing mistake

This would have to be not getting the point of view right. First it was going to be both Luke, Jamie and Ryan, but most Young Adult books are usually written in first person. I settled on telling the story from Luke’s point of view after about the third draft which meant going back and cutting out anything from Jamie and Ryan’s point of view.

Lesson – get your point of view sorted out from Day 1 of writing.

The biggest editing mistake

At the start of the editing process, I spent three months putting Haven River through an edit program which was way too soon. While it did help me tidy up my writing in terms of whether I was showing and not telling and the number of times I used the same word, it really was a waste of time because some of the stuff I edited I later ditched.

The best thing

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The other lesson I learnt was how much I love to write. Editing not so much. I think of the hours and hours I put into redrafting, rewriting and editing Haven River to the point where I almost gave up because it became too tedious.

So this time I’m determined that the editing of Aqua Bay will be easier and quicker. How was I going to do this?

Plan

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This time I have a plan and a goal.

My goal is to complete the editing within six months – 1 April 2017 (OK, so the date could be ominous!).

After 1 April it will be beta read, edited by a professional, book cover art completed, marketing plan for the book launch written with the view of it being e-published on 1 September 2017. Is this plan too bold? I’m not sure, but I work much better when I have a goal and a deadline to work to.

Attitude

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I know the editing process will be long and may still be tedious, but I want my novel to be great and something to be proud of (and maybe sell a copy or two along the way) therefore I must knuckle down and do the work and eliminate distractions.

Tools

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Today I spent a couple of hours getting all my editing templates ready. I’ve refined them and I’m happy to share all the resources that I found helpful plus ones that I’ve developed. I’ll talk about these in future posts.

I have my folders assembled, my resources in front of me and a fantastic all in one pen – blue, black and the colour that will work its magic – red!

I’m actually looking forward to beginning the edit of Chapter 1.

I will be sharing my editing journey through my blog.

Editing is still writing and requires the writer to have a plan, the right attitude and the necessary tools.

Are you currently editing? What did you do to start the process to ensure you were off to a good start?

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