I’ve been editing my “novella” these past few days. It’s been a long process since I started writing it a couple years ago for my National Novel Writing Month project (I didn’t win, but kept writing after the month ended).
This has also been a learning process because as of late, I’ve been writing scripts. The grammar and format is totally different from a novel or novella. I started out writing a novel, but unfortunately the story wasn’t long enough to be a novel in industry standards.
In this novella, I have two main characters. I toyed with the idea of just having them both tell their stories from their respective point of views, it seemed to work on the first draft. As I looked at it more, I wanted to do something different. Then I remembered a book I read called, Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani*. In this book, there were three main characters, but one of the three was narrated in first person point of view and the rest were done third person subjective (this point of view lets the narrator describe one or more character’s feelings and thoughts). I really liked the way this story was told and I decided to try this myself.
*Side note: I’m not selling anything here, but this was a really great book and it touches upon being first generation immigrant and what domestic violence can do to the whole family. So, if you’re looking for something new to read, check it out.
So, my first editing process had me go through every single noun, verb, and adjectives in my second main character’s chapters and change it so they reflected a third person point of view. This was a cumbersome and daunting task, but nonetheless I stuck it out. After making the necessary changes, I went over and double checked the grammar to make sure that everything was written in the correct tenses.
When I finished, I decided it was time to let some people be my betas and read through what would be my “first draft” (in this case, it’s my sister and husband). With feedback in hand, I begin on my second draft. When I start a new draft, I create a new document. I like to save whatever I had previously written in case I want to bring back anything I may have deleted. I heard other authors do the same thing, so I know for sure, I’m doing something right.
I go through several drafts and then I go to my final editing stage… printing. Whenever I reach my final edits, I print my scripts and – in this case – my novella. I find it easier to catch all my spelling errors the word processor might have not caught. THANK GOD FOR STAPLES. I usually pay at most $15*. I use their printing services because I’m always low on ink and it’s a hella lot cheaper to than buying more ink (and paper). Also, I’m not always on this stage of editing with all of my projects so this is like a twice a year purchase. I just use my printer for small projects.
*Side note: I don’t print out my short stories because it’s not 50+ pages I’m having to sift through on a computer screen.
During this editing process (I’m on this right now with my novella), it’s where I can write in suggestions for a different scene or add a few lines, here and there. It makes it easier to see what I can add in or take out, without actually doing it on the computer. I’m not sure if other writers like doing it this way, but this is the best for me to just plan out my edit. I go over about three times before I implement my edits on my computer. This gives me the opportunity to catch anything I may have missed, or fix anything in the beginning that will make sense for the edits I’ve made towards the end.
Editing is never really over, even when you reach your final draft. There could still be a few tweaks here and there. I always catch something after I send out my script to a competition. That’s why publishers hire people to edit the author’s final drafts, I guess.
I’m having a lot of fun writing this story. I can’t wait until I reach my final final draft and I can start finding ways to publish it. I will be sharing snippets of my novella on here, but since I really want to publish this, it will only be snippets. Keep on the lookout for something amazing!
Thanks for reading!
Do you have any fun editing tips? Comment below!!