Today I have started editing my novel The Lytes of Sand00 (working title) which I have alluded to in my past blogs. It is a fantasy novel based on the myth of the Sandman and has a sci-fi undertone. It is mainly targeted at young adults although technically it could possibly just squeak under the radar for mid grade. I finished it just over a year ago. I had come to love the world and the characters in it so much that when I completed it I started right away working on book number 2. It is the only extensive piece of writing I have ever let anyone else read. I must say that one person loved it but it was my mother so we all know her opinion doesn’t count.
I once had read somewhere that a writer should let a novel sit for a while before even attempting to edit it. This gives the writer a chance to look at it with fresh eyes. I usually don’t let my writing sit for more than a few days or a couple of weeks at most but I have let this sit for several months. That is probably a good thing.
I have started out by spell checking the entire novel again and was surprised to find at least a half-dozen errors. I have no idea why the spell checker didn’t find them before. I am now rereading it for the general continuity of the plot and seeing how it flows.
I am sure everyone has different methods for editing their writing and I am genuinely interested in hearing them. As a former teacher I obviously edited many of my student’s pieces and I look over the writing of others on a regular basis. I have no trouble doing this and am quite good at it but I find it very difficult to edit my work. Even the short articles I have written for local publications through my work have caused me a some stress when it came down to editing them.
I am curious, how many of you edit yourselves and how many actually seek out a professional editor? What do you feel are the pros and cons to both?