A couple of weeks ago I did a post on my writing process, which you can view here. On a skim through, both these posts might look like twins—fairly identical, but little differences. But if you look closely in to the different ‘ideas’ or writing and editing, you might notice that both of them are quite different from each other. So today I’m going to be talking about my editing process, or, to put it in simply, how I edit my books. Continue reading for some bonus editing tips and also, do what I say, not what I do.

GOALS

First things first, you need to set up your goals. The most basic and essential editing goals (in my opinion, you are free to agree or disagree) to make your book great are:

  1. Keeping the original draft intact
  2. A flawless draft, without errors
  3. Keeping the backbone intact

And just a little thing you want to keep in mind – do not what I do, but what I say. I completely went off track with the third goal, thanks to dad’s excitement, but hear me out. First of all, make sure you can still see the original draft through these new fancy words. I just think it’s important to let YOU shine through the books, and not YOU [EDITOR] show all the time. Second, you want to revise it so many times that no error is left. I personally (thanks to dad) did not realise how crucial this was until my third book. If you want people to take you seriously, make sure your book doesn’t have any errors in it. Lastly, keep the spine intact. No matter if you’re writing, re-writing, editing whatever, make sure the spine of the story stays the same – and by spine I mean the general idea. You cannot go rewriting a story from scratch – it will turn out a completely different novel, and you don’t want all you previous thinking to go to trash – yes, changes to the storyline can be made, but even those should be made with great care – I personally copy and paste the entire thing into another documents and make my changes there to compare the two side by side. So I definitely recommend doing that.

LOOPHOLE SELF SCAN

Because I’m all about plot twists, death, magic and mysteries, it is very essential for me to fix up and strengthen the plot before I get to the language. This usually includes quickly running through my book in as little sittings as possible and make sure the story flows out smoothly—make sure you’re not contradicting yourself or a previous idea anywhere, no loopholes, no leftover spaces (unless its clear that the gap is to be filled in a sequel) or just anything out of order. This is especially essential to fantasy and mystery writers in my opinion.

LOOPHOLE STRANGER SCAN

This is another essential. This basically mean approaching someone who you know has read a lot of books like yours, and ask him/her to read your book and go through it and give suggestions that are plot related. This is the easiest because the person who reads the book doesn’t have to be a pro English expert, as you’re only looking for improvements in the plot, but if you want corrections in spelling too, go ahead and go for it. Also, make sure you’re ready to accept criticism, and you’re not waiting for your own praise, but some genuine suggestions. For me, this is my mom most of the time.

LANGUAGE STRANGER SCAN

This will kind of sound repetitive, but again, go through your book and search and correct all grammar and spelling mistakes. For me, my mom corrects spellinges and is grammar (get it?) while she is doing a loophole scan. She will do this on a print copy, and then I’ll copy them onto my computer.

LANGUAGE SELF SCAN

Not necessary, but I do it nonetheless. This is the part where I kind of move from correcting to making it better. I swap out words for better ones, paragraphs for better paragraphs, and so on and so forth. I focus on the description, vocabulary, language, and everything like that. This also automatically rolls into a spelling/grammar check.

REWRITING?

A lot of people rewrite books, but I personally find that very de-motivating, and try to edit mostly, because it keep in line with goal #1 and that’s where I edit A LOT. So I personally don’t think it’s necessary to rewrite, but if you feel like it, do it.

PRO EDITORS?

I personally don’t feel like I’m in the need for a professional editor, even though it takes my mother a million years to edit one story, because she is busy, but I just feel more comfortable sitting down with her, correcting stuff myself, being able to give suggestions, and just discussing stuff openly the way I never would with someone else.

REVIEWING?

No, this is not about sending books to book bloggers/booktubers for review, but this is more of pre-publication suggestion kind of thing. I’d highly suggest sending a manuscript to some trustee people you can count on to give you genuine, valuable suggestions. This will usually be my friend, my mom, and a cousin.

So that is it for how I edit my books. I hope you got a ton of information out of this post and enjoyed reading as much as I did writing it. And that’s it! I’ll see you next time. Bye!

Hullo everyone! Today I’m going to be doing the Writer Tag. I’ve only seen this once before, and I thought this would be a good way to share my overall experience of writing. Anyway, the writer tag is basically a list of questions writers have to answer about writing. So without further ado, let’s get into it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but it took me time to answer some of the questions. But I finally did, and here they are!

WHAT DO YOU WRITE? WHAT GENRE? ANY REOCCURRING THEMES?

I usually write fantasy. Since very early I’ve been obsessed with Narnia, so naturally, when I started writing I fell straight into fantasy but right now I’m starting to delve in contemporary a little bit as well, which I’m really LOVING. But recently I’ve also been reading more traditional stuff like short stories, and poetry, so I can see myself delving into those sometime soon.

WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?

For the whole plot of a book, it’ll be a small incident or character in real life, and then I’ll build a world around it, adding more pinpricks from here and there and real life. But it’s all about it striking me that I could build a story around a particular incident, and if it doesn’t, then that’s gone forever. But for like detailed ideas inside of a general plot, I’ll get ideas from other books/movies/tv series.

WHERE DO YOU WRITE, WHEN AND WITH WHAT?

I usually write in my room, especially when I’ve taken a shower, on my bed, and can easily write. But if I can’t focus, I’ve found that getting out of your comfort zone really helps, and the same goes for studying. I write whenever I find time, and that’s mostly late at night, when I actually come alive – though it’s unhealthy, I stay up a lot. I write on my 13 inch Macbook Air, and before that I used a Dell Inspiron laptop, and before that my hands were the victim of severe exhaustion all the time.

SOUND OR SILENCE WHEN WRITING?

SOUND! For the last time, I love sound while writing. It really helps focusing and getting involved in the scene and it just makes you think better. For more details, see my previous post.

HAVE YOU STUDIED WRITING? WHAT WAS IT LIKE? WHERE DID YOU LEARN IT FROM, IF NOT?

No, I have not studied writing. I’m in eighth grade. I do plan on taking writing classes – I have been to a few writing sessions and learnt some tips from teachers and critiques. I’d say I learnt a lot of descriptive writing tips from school, but otherwise I just picked it up from reading other books and listening to other writers.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK?

Encouraging, but haven’t read any of my works (apart from mom, because she edits it), but other than that I don’t think anyone has read it but doe encourage me a lot. Friends, not that much but family definitely. I’m okay with that, as long as it goes this way. I mean my target audience isn’t in my friends or family.

WHAT DO YOU FIND CHALLENGING?

Blankness. Absolute and utter blankness. There’s been countless occasions where I’ll be writing and then my mind will drift away, I’ll stop, and when I come back away I’ll just be blank. My mind will be empty. It’ll take me a few moments to process the world itself, let alone write anything solid. Lately, it has been happening a lot.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WRITING?

My favourite think about writing is probably going to have to be the fun of it. The ability to create a world, shape its inhabitants, shape their fates, and just being able to do what you want, and this makes me sound like a terrible person, but I’m not. I just love going crazy on my work.

ANY TIPS FOR WRITER’S BLOCK?

I learnt this one tip from Cassandra Clare, which she taught on her website. BICHOK. Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. Whenever I don’t feel like it, I think BICHOK and just start writing, and write. I don’t care if it’s crap. I don’t care if it makes any sense or not because this isn’t the final act of some play, this is a rehearsal, a first draft, it’s going to go through a crap load of editing, and we can figure that out later. And the second tip I have is probably the best one that helps me not only write but also study and it’s to get out of your comfort zone. This is really important and it stops you from getting distracted and just helps you focus better.

WHAT ARE YOUR LIFE-LONG WRITING GOALS?

Write a New York Times Best Selling novel. Publish a contemporary. Write a novel my friends can appreciate genuinely. Learn the art of short story writing. Learn how to write poetry. Start a blog.