Apply These 5 Steps to Make Editing Easier from the First Draft

Love your book come edit time
Most authors don't ever want to see "their baby" again by the time it's published. They've read it, revised it, and rewritten parts it more times than they care to count. What if I told you the process could be a little easier? 

Why not take a proactive approach? Here are 5 steps to make editing easier from the first draft:

1) Research before you write your book. This can be forensics, procedure, weapons--basically anything that pertains to your story.

2) Outline. Now if you're more of a panster you might balk at this, but at this point, I see value in at least setting out with a rough outline. If you don't want to do this from the start, as the story gets going, jot out future scenes. The benefit to this is logical progression. I have learned this lesson the hard way and it resulted in more intensive edits and rewrites.

3) Write when you're alert and sober. Writing is a business. Would you ever show up at the day job and have a drink?

4) Have a clear idea who your characters are before you begin. The interview process works well. You could also assign them a star sign to serve as a guideline for their makeup and temperament. (See article, A Secret to Writing Solid Characters)

5) Use a program like Scrivener. It allows you to make notes as you go along and add scenes. This way any clues or situations that should be fleshed out get accomplished at the right time in the plot.

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the author of several published novels, including her best-selling Madison Knight series. Her love for writing dates back to her teen years, but it was only in recent years that she was reunited with this love to pursue it with career passion.

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