Following up from the last blog you many wonder about when I edit and how many drafts I do. It’s roughly included in my plan as far as a timeframe but sometimes drafting takes longer. Some writers like to write the whole manuscript but I edit each chapter as I go, usually as I’m typing from my long hand onto the computer. I usually research first but I may have to also check facts as I go. I keep research notes filed so this part of the editing process is easier. Each of my characters has a file.
I recommend that as well as using a spell checker also check grammar and wording. Don’t use bare for bear etc. A spell checker will not correct these wrong words. You must line edit to find them.
I find putting the chapter away for a day and coming back to it for a read through is best. Some writers put their whole manuscript away for months even years before doing a final read through.
I often read my chapters out loud. If I falter with the flow as I’m reading I know I need to change something.
So how many drafts do I do? As many as I need to polish the manuscript so it is worthy of showing to a publisher. This is usually six or more.
Some writers say their words just flow and their first draft is perfect. Bull! (Okay maybe there are 1 or 2 geniuses in a million out there). I work for a publisher and believe me if anyone sent their first draft in it would not be accepted by our submissions department. Editors can only do so much. They cannot fix bad writing. Polish your work.