One of the hardest parts of writing a book, is of course, the rewriting process. But what is it that makes it so hard? Well, it’s usually a lot to do with the structure of the process, or rather, the lack of it.
It seems as though writers struggle with this, and feel as though maintaining structure in their rewriting is a mountain that cannot be climbed. That’s not true, though – every mountain is climbable, you just have to know the easiest route to the summit.
We’re here to guide you up that mountain, so come along and let’s get climbing.
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#1: Fix Your Biggest Errors first
Can you spot any gaping plot-holes or timeline inconsistencies? Fix them. Fix them immediately. Fix them as soon as you spot them in your initial read-through. In the same sort of way, fix any tense issues too. By tense issues, we mean any time you mix tenses and write in two different variations. These can be tough to spot in some cases, so keep those eyes sharp and focused.
Other types of errors that should be fixed right away are any unfinished story arcs and any areas in which you find yourself rambling unnecessarily. Remember, if it doesn’t add to or progress the story, cut it.
#2 Now Fix The Intricacies
So, once the bigger problems have been handled, it’s time to work on the smaller details. In this read-through, really focus on honing in on your voice and letting it shine consistently.
A great way to do this without any outside help, is to focus on the parts of your book that you most enjoy in terms of the quality of the writing. Locate those parts, and then recreate that same flow and pacing in the rest of the book. We know, that’s easier said than done, but that’s the goal here. Those bits you like are examples of your finest work, and you’re going to want that to shine throughout your manuscript.
In this rewrite, you should also focus on making your sentences as to-the-point as possible. Work through and cut out any filler words, and shorten any sentences that lack that snappy feel. It’s all about toying with the wording until your paragraphs have that crispness to them.
Now, work through these two variations until you’ve rewritten no less than four times, and then you’re ready for number three.
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#3: Use Beta Readers
Use as many as you can possibly find.
Make sure your beta readers are fellow writers (or at least people who understand the difference between good and bad writing) and make sure they aren’t going to sugarcoat their feedback. If your work sucks, you need to be told. It’s no good using a bunch of people who are going to tell you it’s great when it isn’t.
Once you receive your feedback, act upon whatever comes up in a majority vote. Smaller, subjective opinions don’t matter so much, but anything that crops up more than a couple times is something you should consider changing.
If possible, work through a couple rounds with beta readers, and act on their feedback wherever you see fit. From there, your manuscript is polished to the best of your ability, and it’s up to you to decide what your next steps are.
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Possible Next Steps
You could either pursue publication – traditional or self-published – or you could choose to have your work edited by a professional and then go on to publish. Those are the two best options, and we wish you the best of luck with whichever route you choose to go down.
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If you have any questions about ghostwriting and editing, and want to learn more about my services, send me an email via the email icon below. Alternatively, you can visit my contact page here.
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