Now that the first draft is done, it’s time to get ready to edit. I say “get ready” to edit, because I like the advice given in Write Great Fiction: Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell.
Mr. Bell says to take a break from the piece BEFORE you do your first read through. The fact that you just poured your soul into something means you’ll benefit from some needed time away to gain new perspective before you start the editing process. Just don’t take too long of a break.
How to edit? I’d highly recommend Mr. Bell’s book. It is very thorough and complete on the subject.
Another highly recommended book on self-editing for fiction writers is, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne.
Just so there are no misunderstandings, you need to have realistic expectations of the editing process. The editing process may very well take two or three times as long as it took you to write your first draft! Please prepare mentally for the long haul when it comes to editing.
Exercise: Once your first draft is finished, look at your notes and start the editing process.
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