On Editing

Harper’s Harpings – Editing First Draft

Editing Blog



I love the editing process, it’s liberating. Free use of the delete key.  I mutter out loud a lot when I edit, varying phrases from ‘what the hell was I thinking when I wrote that’ to ‘oh, I like that, and I wrote it’.

I have this story in my head, start writing and then change my mind and keep writing, it took me a while to find my rhythm when I write.  At the beginning I used to go back and correct all the spelling mistakes and then get frustrated when I hadn’t written as much as I wanted to.  It wasn’t until I edited my first piece that I learned, for me at least, is to write it all down and then worry about if it makes sense later.

My editing motto is, write freely, cut, plump, polish, repeat.

The first sweep after I have written the first draft is to read it and look for continuity errors. I also then build the character’s profile. Eye colour, hair colour stature etc and make sure I follow that through to the end. Describing that I am looking up to a man that is shorter than me is not good.

I do this all on paper, the book is typed in Word on my trusty laptop (strokes it to show it I love it and please don’t crash).  I then print it off and highlight and scribble away at it in pencil.  The picture above is one of the pages from Loving Lilly that is next to be released.

On the back pages of the manuscript I scribble the main key points and character traits.  It allows me to change their profile, maybe a fiery red-head is not a good fit for the cheeky best friend. I write the first draft not caring if it all fits. The characters change as I change my feelings about the book and it’s direction.

That’s what I love about the first edit, fixing the obvious.  The second, third, forth and so on have their jobs too. Each sweep has a different aim.

Eventually it will go off to someone else to edit, once I am happy with what I have produced and then the red pen comes out!

How do you edit your first draft?

Thanks for reading




Harper’s Motto: You will not be everybody’s favourite flavour, but that’s ok, because they will not always be your favourite flavour.   Be who you want to be and you will attract the people who will support you no matter what.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.