After six months of conceptualizing and putting the voices of my characters into words and dialogues, I have finally completed my first unpublished novel. Writing the finale of the story significantly brought me to an ultimate experience being a writer. My attempt to build a humble beginning to pave the way to this passion of mine has made me accessed my deepest self-realization. This is me and this is what I want to do. When all of the emotions of my characters possessed all of my senses, a rewarding feeling has filled my empty cup, thus, lifted me to a higher level of experience. It was like going through a 360-degree ride of emotions, as I wrote the entire story. The experience was priceless.
But I’m just getting started. Now that I have written what my characters have told me to write, it is my duty to let the voices be heard by many. To do that, I must take full responsibility in making the material ready. Thus, my editing challenge begins. “So bring it on,” I told myself enthusiastically. I believe every writer has her or his own way of dealing with their editing challenges. What may have work to the other may not work effectively for the rest. So I guess it’s best to experiment and decide which approaches works better for you. I have been doing lots of research lately which compelled me to buy another notebook the other day. And I just couldn’t hide the excitement in my face as I selected a cute cover design for my notebook. The idea of filling it up with a salad of information simply excites me a lot. They said writers and authors read anything. In my case, yes, I read anything under the roof, under the sun, and even under the moon. It is already a part of my system. As I continued my learning every day, my calling becomes more apparent to my knowledge. I dreamed of becoming an author. So I shall become and I will have the faith.
Going back to my editing challenges, these are the techniques that helped me so far. It worked for me and maybe it can extend a help to others too. And it’s my pleasure to share these with you. After all, this is my writing journal.
- Wait for a couple of days before starting to edit.
Based on my self-evaluation, allowing a number of days to edit the manuscript will allow my mind to shift from being a writer into being a reader. This allows me to temporarily detach myself emotionally from the story. As the author, we value all of our characters; the protagonists, antagonists, and even the flat characters. But spotting the passive voices and eliminating sticky sentences can be tricky for a writer to detect. The writer is more attuned to the entire idea itself and can simply tolerate the characters to write their own story, regardless if an excess becomes apparent. But if editing like a reader, we tend to keep those page-turner voices only. So the excess can be eliminated easily.
- Phase 1 Of Editing, this is how I called it.
My Phase 1 of editing means I printed the manuscript by chapters. Each chapter will be reviewed thoroughly by my very own four eyes. I said four because I am using my eyeglasses while reading it. Then I will have to put markings on the page for my corrections, re-phrasing and eliminating the lines which are subject for revamping.
- Print a hard copy of the manuscript.
For me, I find it more effective if I am doing the editing in the hard copy. Of course, we can edit it in our laptop but sometimes, we can only see what our mind tells us to see. So the word ‘They’ can be miswritten as ‘The’ in the soft copy without noticing it. Running the auto Spelling and Grammar Check in the Office Word will skip it at times. But when I printed it out, at first glance, I spotted it immediately. Traditional ways are old school but I find it more convenient for me.
So far, these approaches work for me and maybe it can help you too. Be my guest. I am still doing my trial and error attempts as part of my daily learning.
Editing is fun. We just have to love what we are doing and have more patience about it. The experts said, “To be an author, one must learn to be an editor.” So let’s take the challenge. And we should always tell ourselves, “Aim for the stars. If we fail, we can land on the moon. Still close to our dreams.”
Thanks for dropping by and enjoy your editing.