Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Editing Your Novel - Part 1 Finish First Draft

by Elva Cobb Martin
Good editing is like going through a gate to an exciting, better book. Here I am entering a Georgetown,SC, rice plantation. I refused to let the rain hinder my tour or photos.
How do you write your novel? Where does editing come in?

For me, the real editing begins after the first draft. 

I write the first draft mainly to get the plot points down, tell the story, hit the major scenes I've already planned. I work hard and fast getting my opening set up, hitting important scenes in the middle, and writing the major ending scenes, including the black moment and the HEA. 

If I try to do a lot of editing in the first draft, I may never get to THE END. I know folks, like me earlier, who struggle years trying to write that "novel." But it takes so long if you try editing as you go along, for example, editing what you wrote yesterday before going on today. Trust me, that's going up the ladder backwards. 

When I finish that first draft, I might have 45,000-50,000 words, but will need 60,000-80,000 words for the final draft, according to what a publisher I've queried might ask for.

Reviewing, here's what works for me in novel writing to finish that first draft:

1) I spend quality time planning that first draft. Planning your novel is described in my 10-part series earlier in this blog. Find Part 1 here

Here's the list of the other 9 parts in the archives:

Part 2 -  Premise
Part 3 -  Pitches and Book Tags
Part 4 -  Characterization Special -Dancing Horse & Heroine
Part 5 -  Deep Heroine Characterization
Part 6 -  Hero Characterization
Part 7 -  Secondary Characters
Part 8 -  Outlining
Part 9 -  Choosing the best opening scene
Part 10 - The Fiction Proposal

So don't fudge on your novel planning. It will help that first draft be a fast birthing! I've learned since writing that series that making a time line of historical events to cover my historical series will be a great help. 

So you finished your first draft! Congratulations!

It's a wonderful accomplished feeling to finish the first draft.
Can't you hear the success bells ringing when any one asks, "How is your novel coming along?"  And you can answer. "Fine, I've finished the first draft."

Celebrate every goal reached!

So once I finish the first draft, it's time to go back through and add all the spit and polish, including great sun rises and sun sets if on a sailing vessel like I often spend time. 

Three vital questions I ask myself to begin editing after finishing the first draft: 

1) Do I need to add more scenes to reach my word count or       add more detail in scenes to make more vivid?

b) Am I staying in Deep POV and not head hopping? For my 4-Part series on DPOV click here for Part 1:

c)  Am I using the five senses, strong verbs, strong adjectives?

Hey, thanks for stopping by. Hope this has helped you today.
I will go in much more detail about editing a first draft in Part 2 next week. Please leave a comment if this has helped and share on your social media by clicking on the icons below.

Blessings on your writing,
Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest    

 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: