I know that the editing process has been discussed on this website before but I thought I’d weave the tale of my own editing struggles. Please note: this will leave out the number of times I stopped editing to do some other crucial task like laundry or video games. Or cat bonding time. I mean, look at them:
Step One: Start initial read through
This is painful. This where one mostly checks content and mourns self-confidence as the realization that one is not a Bronte. Many like to dive into a bottle of liquor as they begin the editing process. My chosen libation is actually water. I don’t want to feel gross on top of the mental gross I already feel. Water also gives me an excuse to take breaks and ponder my own words...which is really what the toilet was meant for.
Step Two: Find a huge piece of information which needs to be re-reseached
I can’t not research. There are certain things that I just can’t allow my imagination to fill in. The tiny historian in my brain needs to double check information and spend time double checking online sources against book sources. Just let me research, damn it!
Step Three: Go back to content editing and try to stop doing secondary research
I don’t have a problem! I can quit research anytime I want. Shut up! Let me work!
Step Four: Spelling Grammar
I generally do my spelling and grammar checks during content, but when it’s all done, I still run that spell check for good measure. Within a novel this can take... a while. I usually do this while eating something.
Step Five: Send edited first draft to trusted friends for second and third edits...
Then secret be bitter at friends for helping me because artistry also involve emotional idiocy.
Step Five: Edit again using new information from other editors
This involves so picking and choosing and, most importantly, some parts that have to be completely re-written (which means that those scenes then have to be re-edited).
Step Six: Professional Editor
Spend money, get professional results and clean up the last of the grammar/spelling errors.
Step Seven: Decide after all that if you still want to publish the beast.