Edit your Book: 10 STEPS to PERFECTION
I, Karen Tyrrell, finished #9 critical steps in editing her action-packed children’s superhero novel, Song Bird 2.
This week, Song Bird 2 zoomed off to its crucial #10 step. Astute editing will transform it for publishing.
Why Edit your Book?
Editing polishes your writing until it sparkles and shines with the gloss of a professional. A polished piece of writing hooks a reader from the beginning, gripping them to the very last word. Thorough editing maximizes your chances of publishing. So your book rockets out to the world.
10 STEPS to Edit your Book
- Write the very BEST story you can. Create a page turning, intriguing story with compelling characters the reader really cares about. Hook the reader in on every page.
- Read your story out aloud to pick up any mistakes and flaws.
3. STRUCTURAL EDIT:
Examine the overall structure of your story. Answer these questions.
**Does your story flow and make sense?
**First sentence: Is your first sentence powerful, hooking the reader in?
**First page: Does your first page anchor and orientate the Reader to the setting, the main character and the problem, hooking us even more? Does the first page set up the story and the conflict? VITAL: Do you care about the main character?
**Overall story arc: Does the story build up to a climax?
**Ending: Is the ending satisfying to the reader? Are all the questions answered and resolved?
**Are the story events sequenced logically? What’s missing from the story?
- Join a critique group, preferably one who meets face-to-face. Learn how to critique so you can critique writer’s manuscripts in exchange for yours. I recommend joining Write Links, if you write books for children.
- Submit your manuscript, in chapters to your critique group.
- Rewrite your manuscript several times, using positive feedback and suggestions from your Crit Buddies.
- Ask Beta readers (your most valued Crit Buddies) to read your entire manuscript and offer suggestions for improvement via comment boxes, concentrating on perfecting the structure. Rewrite again … and again.
LINE EDIT your manuscript against a VIP list to improve each line
**Eliminate unnecessary modifiers which weaken your sentence i.e. possibly, simply, really, totally, very, supposedly, seriously, terribly, kind of, usually, extremely, almost, mostly, practically, probably, and quite.
Search for extraneous that’s and ands. Either delete or rephrase the sentence.
Eliminate all clichés. Replace with powerful prose or original metaphors and similes.
Replace repeated words and phrases with a different word for variety.
Check each sentence makes sense, taking the story forward. Delete unnecessary sentences.
Examine tenses and overall sentence structure is grammatically correct.
**Rewrite, rephrase, reconfigure. The more times you rewrite your sentences, the sharper they’ll become.
WORD EDIT your manuscript against this VIP list to improve the vocabulary.
Replace boring verbs e.g. get, give, sat, say, see, stood, use, want, walk with words and phrases that have energy
Swap lazy adjectives with better word picture and metaphors. e.g. easy, nice, interesting, wonderful, big, fine, bad, exciting, good, little, strange.
Delete adverbs ending in ly unless they change the way the verb behaves e.g. whispered loudly = OK but whispered softy = no-no.
Remove all unnecessary or overused words e.g. that, very, just, because, then etc
Amp every verb and noun to the MAX, to the strongest they can be.
Check spelling using spellcheck or a dictionary/ thesaurus
- Send your manuscript to the very best editor you can afford. I recommend a structural edit as well as a line edit to amp up your manuscript for SUPER success.
How did I, Karen Tyrrell edit my published books?
I joined a Brisbane face-to-face critique group for children’s writers Write Links. Each month I submit 2-3 chapters for critique and feedback. Then I rewrite them until they shine.
After 3 or 4 drafts, I sent my manuscript to three trusted Beta Readers … and followed ALL the steps above.
So far, I’ve successfully edited and published eight award-winning books to empower available from Amazon and book shops. I published Song Bird Superhero (Song Bird #1) in September 2016. Check out the reviews. HERE
NEWSFLASH… NEWSFLASH… NEWSFLASH… NEWSFLASH
I can’t wait to announce my new book title and cover. I’m bursting with excitement 🙂 🙂
How do you edit YOUR book? … What do you recommend?
Thanks for reading. Please share your thoughts below.
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