Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Editing a Novel: Not Just About Copy-edits

When I started editing my first novel, I felt like an astronaut in free fall. Yes, my novel had problems. Some of them big, some of them small, but mostly workable. The problem was, approaching it with a list of fix-its wasn't always helpful, and was, at times, a back-fire, because it meant I only approached edits with my critical, logical mind rather than letting my writer's brain have a say.

Part of the reason it's so hard to convey how to edit a story is because 1) we all have our own process and 2) I don't think people care to put down the emotional aspect of how to look at a story. So when I found this article by David Farland about your character's feelings and how your book portrays them, I was thrilled.

It's another good way of looking at edits. Here's a small quote from it:

Ultimately, with every pass, every rewrite, you need to ask yourself, “Is this the right choice of words, images, and scenes to make the reader feel what I want? Have I selected the right details?”

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