Now for Some Editing

I finished the draft for my latest novel, Clean Slate. I edited it once, and now I will edit the entire manuscript two more times, and then I’ll send it to two or three proofreaders.  This process will take about three months, as I have other work to do, and I certainly cannot work on the manuscript and nothing else without going a bit mad.

My editing process has several purposes. First I need to make sure the information is consistent throughout the story. For instance, I discovered that on page seventy I mentioned that Richard Weed had seven previous clients. On page two hundred and five, I mentioned that Richard Weed had five previous clients. Inconsistencies like that are unacceptable. Another purpose is to correct any typos or grammatical errors. And another purpose is to replace/upgrade wording. A full edit also includes an evaluation of the plot, and making changes when I have a different idea.  Also, when I wrote the first draft, I was writing at five hundred to seven hundred and fifty words per hour. In some cases I was telling a story as fast as I  could, using nothing but a factual account of what was happening. My edits give me the opportunity to slow things down, add more descriptive phrases, additional adjectives and adverbs, and letting readers have more of a sensory feel for the plot. Sounds. Smells. Visual descriptions.

I could edit a hundred times and always find something to change. But I’ve found that after three edits, I need to get it out there so to speak. My proofreaders, besides looking for typos and grammatical errors, will also provide feedback that will let me know  if the novel is, indeed ready.

Clean Slate is the fifth novel in the Rhett and Toni detective series, and it’s pretty good. Maybe my best in the series. I  had a great time writing it, and, of course, I enjoyed the research process. I hope readers enjoy it.




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