We invited author Rachael Thomas to share with us her process for revising and editing before submitting. She has a new release this month, To Blackmail a Di Sione.
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Revising and Editing Before Submission
Firstly, congratulate yourself. Writing an entire book is a fantastic achievement, but although you have written ‘the end’ the hard work is only just beginning. There is much yet to do before you can send your manuscript to your editor or agent.
You need to revise and edit your work. It other words, make it shine and make it the best it can possibly be.
Editing is all about checking for spelling mistakes, correct grammar and punctuation use and the structure of sentences. It’s a process which puts right mistakes, such as typos without altering the story.
Revising is much more involved. Here you will look at the story and make changes which will alter the way in which your book is experienced by a reader. As you revise you will be looking at the following.
* New thoughts or details will be added or unnecessary details deleted.
* Words used for description will be checked. Have you used the best possible word to convey what you want your reader to see or feel in your story?
* Scenes will be checked through to ensure they are clear to the reader. It’s easy to miss an important detail as you write because, as the author, you are so close or involved with your work. Hence the need to put it away for a while before beginning edits and revisions.
* Characters will be checked to ensure they are fully developed and that they are alive and ready to leap off the page.
How I Revise and Edit
Once I’ve written my first draft, I begin the process of revising and editing. The first thing I do is put the story away. Shut it out of my mind and forget it for as long as I can, but at least a week. After that, I print the entire manuscript then armed with a red pen, highlighters and notebook and pencil, set about revising and editing.
Anything that needs editing becomes a note in red on the page and revisions can be in the form of a sentence or two inserted or deleted, to a scene being written in the notebook to be added in later. It can also be a big line through a paragraph or even pages, deleting them from the story.
Then it’s back to the computer to amend the manuscript with these changes and after that it has another read through, where very often I will make further minor amendments. Once this is done, I transfer the manuscript to my kindle and sit down to read the story as if I am a reader. I try and to do this quickly, just as a reader would, which helps to ensure the story flows. If I find something that needs attention I highlight it on the screen then go back and amend on the manuscript later.
Once this is all done, it’s time to send it off to my editor. After that will come the editor’s revisions and so the process starts again – this time, armed with notes from my editor.
One Last Bit of Advice
This was given to me by a friend and has proved invaluable. As you write your story, it is your baby and you can be as precious about it as you want. Once you have written ‘the end’ it becomes your product and it is your job to make that product shine and be the best it possibly can be.
TO BLACKMAIL A DI SIONE
"When you've finished making offers for the bracelet, I have a proposition for you."
Billionaire Liev Dragunov has spent a lifetime plotting revenge against those responsible for his family's ruin. Finally he has the way: Bianca Di Sione.
She's denied their obvious attraction and coolly rebuffs every request to work for him—until he finds her weakness: a diamond bracelet she desperately needs!
Bianca must become his fake fiancée if she wants her trinket! But the taste of revenge isn't as sweet as desire, and Liev discovers that she is innocent in more ways than one…
Book 3 of The Billionaire's Legacy