Over the past two weeks I have been editing my new novel Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale. The first thing I did was to simply read it. I didn't make any changes or corrections. I read it like I was anyone reading any book. A read through like this is the recommended first step in editing, according to one of my old textbooks Reaching Audiences: A Guide to Media Writing.
This method allows me to experience the novel the way a reader would. I'm not focusing on minute details or fixing sentences. I'm analyzing the overall quality of the novel the way you do when you're reading a book.
I purposefully do this type of read through on an ebook reader so I can't write in any changes.
My first impression of the manuscript was that the pace went along at a good clip. There was always something happening and it never dragged. Cool!
After doing the stage one read through, I got down to the hard work of editing.
- I cleaned up sloppy scenes.
- I tightened up dialogue.
- I checked the definitions of many words to make sure I was using them correctly.
- I did additional research to nail down some historical details.
- I made sure the motivations for the characters made sense.
- I took notes on names, places, and other special terms to guide my copyediting.
- And I cut extra words.
What started as a 183,000 word manuscript is now down to 164,000 words approximately.
Next I am going to print the manuscript and proofread and copyedit it on paper. I'll also continue to fine tune the prose and try to make the words prettier in places.
My excitement about this project is growing. I can't wait to release another novel! There's nothing like it.