Before I get to my 6 editing steps, let me tell you about my story idea document. Before I begin my book, I jot down an outline of the book chapters and what will happen in each chapter.
As further ideas occur while I’m writing, I jot them down in the appropriate chapter notes. I also put links to any research or images I use in my book (Be sure to document your image sources or get public domain images.)
Finally, this document is also where I put my scene list and time time. Here’s my table of contents of this document for My Undead Mother-in-law, my sequel to Zombie Turkeys.
Notice the bottom item, “Editing Priorities”? Here they are, for me:
4. Check POV (Point of View) consistency and logic – Is the best person in the POV? Does it jump around in the scene or chapter? Are switches logical?
5. Read out loud – I cannot over emphasize how useful this is. First, you find your own bad wording, especially in dialogue. Next, you can find logic and POV errors you missed. Finally, you can read it to another person and get their ideas and feedback.
6. Go through the 11 points of self-editing here. These are good, practical points every writer should do before sending his or her manuscript to their professional editor, let alone publishing it.
All of what I’ve told you is what you should do before paying for a professional editor. I know I can’t edit my own work thoroughly; even if you are an editor, have another editor look it it.
Next, get as many eyes on the manuscript as you can before publishing.
There’s a lot more I can tell you. Check back tomorrow!