On Editing

Harper’s Harpings: Editing A First Draft Part Two

editing pt 2 blog

Editing Part 2

I’ve talked before about editing the first draft twelve months ago. You can read it here. I still love the editing process, it gives me freedom to write freely because I know I can add, tweak or delete at a later stage.

I have glared at my manuscript for a few days. I thought I would share how I have broken my staring competition with an inanimate object.

This time is different, I’ve finished the first draft, I write essential scenes the first time around, so aim to get the first draft of 50k words. I tend to write the main sections of the story and then on draft two I bridge the gaps, draft three is the cutting stage and draft four is the plumping phase. Further drafts are a repeat of those actions until I’m happy. I generally end up at about 75k words.

But, this time is different.

I’m looking at 50,000 words and I can’t see any of them, I have re-read the first chapter over and over again, bridging the gaps as I go. When I get to chapter two, I’ve lost heart because all I can see of the 46 or so thousand words after it and I want to shut the document and go and look around Pinterest.

This time I changed, I had to if I am going to reach the editor’s deadline. I had to think of something else, so I broke down the book into the different chapters that I had set up. When I am writing a novel, I’ll start a new chapter once I can’t write any more of the scene before.

Each word document has now been saved as Book Title – brief description – # of words. The smallest chapter is 191 words and the largest is 3574 words. I can clearly see now where I need to do some work.

I now go to the chapter I want to work on, open the preceding chapter and see where I ended it and get to work. I am now full of joy and motivation to start draft two.

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.




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