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.


Published by Grace Harper

Grace Harper is a British author who loves to write about strong women and the friends and lovers who make them stronger. She adores writing steamy scenes of first encounters and there is always a little twist along the way. When Grace is not writing, she can be found mooching about in stationery stores, dreaming up tattoo designs or teasing her friends until everyone is in fits of giggles. Grace might have a Maltesers addiction but is not ready to stand up and own that just yet. If you want to get in touch, please do, Grace is pretty laid back and friendly.

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