I’m very happy to host Eliza David today, with some valuable editing tips. She calls them eccentric but I think she’s got some great ideas here!
Killing It: Eliza’s Eccentric Editing Tips
When Rosanna invited me to drop by her blog this week, coming up with a topic to discuss wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I’m currently in the middle of a third round of edits for a WIP I’m querying. And, as most writers can attest, my revisioning period can be a little messy. This is because I believe that the way to bring out the best version of my manuscript is to kill it and then use my edits to bring it back to life.
After self-publishing almost a dozen books and working with betas and editors throughout my writing career, I’ve learned how to streamline my editing process. Here’s my top three tips to keep your sanity intact when all you really want to do is fling yourself and your WIP out of the nearest window:
- Kill a Tree – Now this may be the most controversial advice I have to share. Like most environmentally-sound people, I hate wasting resources. I recycle everything and even have one of those pretentious Please don’t print this email taglines in the signature of my work email account. But is printing out your 200-page manuscript really a waste? Not in this case. I am a firm believer in printing your draft out and taking a red (or purple or orange) ink pen to your words. It will give you a wider scope of your project and you don’t have drive your eyes batty scrolling up and down your laptop screen.
- Kill Your Negative Self Talk – It inevitably happens during the course of the editing process. You begin to doubt your story, your characters, and yourself. This ain’t the time for that, though. Banish the boo-hoo voice that tells you to quit while you’re ahead. Sure, your first draft is most likely a mess but what keeps my negative vibes at bay is reminding myself of what I call the Sandbox analogy. I imagine my first draft as a sandbox in the middle of a public playground – random toys stuck in the grains, clumps of sand spilling out of the wooden confines of the box. It’s my job as a writer to jump in that sandbox, clear out those toys, collect those clumps, and build a castle from the grains. Your first draft isn’t indicative of your abilities as a writer; it’s a testament to the real work ahead or you: turning that mess into magic.
- Kill Your Ego – While you shouldn’t be hard on yourself during the editing process, don’t be so souped our yourself that you think you can do it alone. If funds allow, invest in an editor. In the indie world, you can snag an editor for around a dollar per thousand words. Ask your fellow writer buddies who they’ve used for recommendations. Beta readers are another cost-prohibitive way to get some feedback on what went right and wrong with your WIP. Bottom line: Do yourself a favor, let go of your ego, and let someone read your words at some point during the editing process. Your future readers will thank you for it!
I hope these tips are helpful to your #amediting arsenal. Your book is hidden in that draft – bring that puppy out and kill the idea that you can’t!
Eliza David is the erotic romance author of eleven self-published novels, including the six-book Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in quiet Iowa City, one of the renowned Cities of Literature. When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries.
New hire Shauna McIntyre joins The Charisma Group, a New York-based talent agency specializing in social media management. Even though she has never been much of a fangirl in her personal life, Shauna expects that her signature professional task is managing the online fandom of her famous clientele. What she didn’t expect was to fall in love with one of them.
R&B sensation King Smith has made a career of singing soulful tunes and strumming his guitar for his adoring fans. King also harbors a secret: he’s in recovery for sex addiction. When King lays eyes on Shauna, the crooner with a craving for no-strings lust decides to change his life in an effort to hold on to her.
Once King is tempted by the admiration of a persistent online fan, Shauna has a decision to make. When professional lines are blurred and relentless love takes hold, will Shauna sacrifice her rising career for an affair with a famous man with a seemingly insatiable thirst for his fandom?