Writing Update

The first draft of my WIP is done and it is time for me to start editing it. After I let spell and grammar check run a few times the real work will begin. The first three steps I plan on taking for the next week or so are:

Step 1 – Get rid of all passive sentences. This is where I will spend a few days picking over the entire draft for the words was and is. Then I will rewrite those sentences to show more action.

Step 2 – Ban the adverbs. No, I am not banning them all but a great deal of them. This is where I spend a few more days getting rid of -ly words. Trust me this is the part that is hard because in my first drafts adverbs almost outnumber the other words.

Step 3 – Read out loud. I will have a proper read through (reading it aloud of course) and make a judgement about how much rewriting each paragraph will need. I then highlight the sections I feel need to be rewritten.

What about you what are the first few things you do when the first draft is finished?


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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18 Responses to Writing Update

  1. Evelyn says:

    I just started to read it and edit as I go. But I think I might try what you do…
    Mine is sort of unique in that the first10 chapters or so I put on the blog, like a serial piece, so they were already heavily editted.

    • I used to edit as I went along but that was a gift NaNo gave me. I found the two novels I have written since then have both been plotted before I started to write them and then I just wrote them start to finish without going back. I had to heavily rewrite the ones that I edited as I went along because they were not and are still not exactly what I had in mind. I hope there is not a lot of rewriting to do with this novel just editing.

      • Evelyn says:

        hope it went well. 🙂

      • It is going okay at the moment. I am nearly done with editing. Then come rewrites and then more edits. Someday, I will get back to writing again. 🙂

      • Evelyn says:

        I am currently editing the nano novel and a collection of poetry. such a process all this is…

      • It certainly is! I have not even made it to the rewriting process. After that editing will have to occur again. I feel like I am making progress by making it a priority but I am missing reading and writing other things like blogs and novels. Good luck with your own process, it is not easy.

      • Evelyn says:

        Im making super slow process because I am still reading and writing! lol
        Cant wait till the next nano!

      • Yeah but you are probably having more fun! 😉

        NaNo is certainly something I am planning again this year too even though I have not opened my NaNo novel since I wrote it. I think that might be the next one on the editing plan.

  2. I’m a bad girl, so I leave in more adverbs than literary people would approve of! It’s such a funny controversy, isn’t it? And yet I’ve never ONCE read a book reviewer mention either the dearth or wealth of adverbs in a story. I’m sure there are a few writers-reviewing-books who’ve done it, but I’ve honest-to-goodness never across one in the wild.

    • Love adverbs!!! And I do not think I have ever read a book and put it down because I thought there were too many of them. Although, I do skip over passages with too much description sometimes. All in all, if they write a good story I love the book but I wonder how much of their style and editing has to do with that too.

  3. Selena says:

    The first thing I do is put it away. I don’t want to see it for about a month. Objectivity, I suppose.

  4. pattisj says:

    Good for you! Keep on.

  5. Eric says:

    I’ve always found that the vast majority of editing that needs to be done is getting rid of stuff. Sometimes it’s easier to figure out how to be succinct once you’ve gotten all the words written down.

    By the way, I tagged you. http://ericalder.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1631&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

  6. I used to hate editing, but I read a few books on how to do it, and now I love it. Like Selena, I put it away for a while, normally one to two weeks. When I go back, I have a fresh view of it and can edit more impartially.

    I then go along, editing as I go. However, for rewrites, I mark the passage (I love Word’s comment function) for later attention. I know that it probably means some of the editing will be unnecessary when I revise, but if I stop now to revise, I lose my overview of the novel and am derailed.

    There is no one right way, I think. Whatever works the best for you is the best way for you to rewrite.

    Btw, Billie Jo, I nominated you for the Sunshine Award for all the rays of sunshine you have given me. Go to my site for details of this award.

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