How I Edit by Karen Clarke


The first thing I do when it comes to editing is set my writing aside – for a day if it’s a short story, and at least two weeks with a novel. It’s surprising how many mistakes immediately leap out when you haven’t looked at your work for a while.

I’ll then start reading aloud, which helps fix the pacing and structure and tests that the dialogue sounds natural, and I sort out typos and grammar as I go along.

I’ll also look for inconsistencies, check my characters are fully rounded out, and make sure that if I dropped a clue early on in the novel/story I’ve picked it up again later on and not left it hanging, unresolved.

If I have ANY doubts about anything I’ve written – either it doesn’t seem to flow very well, or sounds a little confusing, or it’s not as funny as I thought– I take it out. If I don’t believe in what I’ve written no one else will. “If in doubt you can do without”, as my grandmother used to say.

I also get brilliant feedback from a writing partner. A fresh pair of eyes will always see things I’ve missed, no matter how many times I’ve read a piece of writing, and she’ll also come up with suggestions for things that might need changing.

Finally, with a novel, I print the whole thing out (or should I say I’ll be uploading it onto my Kindle now I’ve finally got one!) and read it through as if it’s a book written by someone else, and I make handwritten notes of any further changes I’d like to make.

I then do a final read through and polish, scene by scene, until I’m happy my novel/ story’s the best it can possibly be.

Sometimes it’s hard to know WHEN to stop editing, but by this time I’m usually sick of my novel and ready to say ‘That’s it! I can’t do any more.’

Though I can guarantee that if I were to look at it again a month later I’d still find something I’d like to change…

British author Karen Clarke is the author of MY FUTURE HUSBAND, a timeslip romance available on Amazon.  She's also the author of numerous short stories which have featured in British magazines and various other publication around the world.  You can find her blogging here.  She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.


MY FUTURE HUSBAND



When Sasha meets Elliot a month before her wedding to Pete, the news he brings seems incredible. He claims to have arrived from the future, explaining that their timeline was knocked off course in 2010, preventing them from meeting, and begs her to find him in the present day. 

But Sasha’s wedding plans are underway and though she’s curious, Elliot turns out to be feckless, rebellious, and engaged to a glamorous and pregnant Belle. He’s not remotely her type and is instantly suspicious of Sasha’s motives for tracking him down, convinced his disapproving father has sent her to spy on him. 

Sasha decides to ahead with her wedding, but a previous connection with Elliot’s father finds her doing the catering at a dinner party at his house. With the help of her best friend, Rosie, she soon discovers that Elliot has sadness in his past, and that Belle is up to no good.....


Available at:  Amazon  Amazon UK

27 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing about your editing processes Karen. All the best to My Future Husband. Sounds an intriguing story. I would love to read it.

    Congrats on the release!

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  2. Hi Karen,

    thanks for sharing this post with us. I've learnt a lot from it.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your tips on editing!

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  4. I like the 'if in doubt do without' advice. Several times I've struggled to get a line right and eventually realised the only thing it really needs is the delete key!

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  5. Great post Maria and Karen! Your grandmother was a very wise lady. I absolutely loved My Future Husband - then my husband read it and he enjoyed it too :-) x

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  6. Thanks, Maria and Karen - some great tips there! xx

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  7. So much wonderful advice here Karen! Thank you! Will try to put it into practice :) Your novel sounds very intriguing! xxx

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    1. Good tips Edith. The book's great too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Excellent post Karen and Maria. I thought My Future Husband was fantastic, and would thoroughly recommend it! X

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    1. Hi Amanda, good to see you over here.

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  9. Very interesting tips thank you for sharing. All the best for your book!

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  10. Thanks for having me, and for all your comments :o)

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    1. Hi Karen, thanks for the post. We loved having you on here.

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  11. Interesting tips. Thanks.

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  12. Thanks for sharing. I never know when to stop editing myself - I just keeping reading and theres always something I want to change.

    I love your grandmothers saying - It's my new mantra!

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    1. It's a good mantra all right Cheryl and I'll be using it myself in future.

      Good to see you over here.

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  13. Sounds VERY familiar. I do the same thing. Take a month long break if I can manage while waiting for CP and beta crits, then tweak, then send to my kindle for a read thru.
    I've also found reading at random spots in the novel help with finding awkward wording.

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    1. Hi Pk, thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

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  14. Hi Karen, thank you for sharing your tidbits. I love your Grandmothers saying and think I'll be using it myself xx

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  15. My grandmother was a very wise woman :o)

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