I finally sent my book to be edited (I did it… I handed my precious baby over to another person). I dithered for weeks over whether it was ready or not but in the end, I decided I could do no more and it was time.
My original raw manuscript from start to finish was 135,000 words. A bit on the long side for my first fantasy but this is before I self-edited.
- Changed out multiple words for a single word.
- Moved paragraphs around to make the flow better.
- Removed unnecessary paragraphs.
I proudly reduced my word count to 127,000. I let it sit for about four weeks or so before reading it again.
- Took out segments that were fillers.
- Removed unnecessary words.
- Condensed paragraphs
- Rewrote segments “Showing instead of Telling”
Now my word count was a bit more workable at 120,000 – And the story had not lost any punch or drive.
THIRD SELF EDIT:
- I carved up chapters, which I hadn’t really touched before because I realised they didn’t drive my plot.
- Removed as many filler segment and revamped others.
Word count 114,000 words.
The final pass before being sent it to be edited. Again I let the manuscript sit – then hit it one last time.
- Removed words that didn’t need to be there.
- Tweaked areas that need improving (sentence structure).
- Culled excess words
- Put some words back in….to flesh things out where necessary
- Checked for multiple use of the same words and applied substitutes.
- Last grammar check
- Changed words for others with more impact
- A quick proofread.
Word count 112,000
BUT THE MIND READS WHAT IT WANTS – I knew there would still be some imperfections in the manuscript but I sent it anyway. My daughter assured me the editor “needed something to do”.
Before I took the final plunge, I did a free sample edit of 1000 words and I was pleasantly surprised by the feedback. It made me feel confident about my editing efforts. I sent my manuscript away the next day without hesitation and three weeks later it came back.
I’m happy to say, the feedback from my editor was positive. She offered valuable insights and suggestions to enhanced my storyline. I could decide for myself what amendments to make, if any. This is one of the major difference between having an agent and self-publishing. You control the product.
My edited manuscript came back at 111,000 words and my revised version after making some changes = 112,000 words.
I thought my original manuscript at 135,000 words was amazing. However, my adjusted edition at 112,000 is so much better. It hits and flows when it should.
It just proves that:– “More is not necessarily better”.
Having your book edited is not as daunting as I originally thought but there is a certain level of trust and respect that comes with this process. You’re letting someone critique your precious work and that is not always an easy thing to do. However, if you do your research and pick the right editor for your manuscript, your experience will be as positive as mine.
I have taken another big step towards Becoming a Published Author.