Research research research research talk to people with experience with the illness research research research get feedback from people with experience with the illness research research research *DEEP BREATH* research
And don’t assume random bullshit. And don’t slap a mental illness onto a character like it’s an accessory. And for fuck’s sake, research that shit.
slowlysinkingunder asked: I finished my first book and I’m going to print it out later and start editing Monday (one day break haha). Anyway, what are your suggestions on editing the first draft? Should I read it through the first time and try not to edit? How many times do you think editing is necessary before sending it to beta readers and then a publisher? I know every writer is different so I’m still trying to find the method that best for me. I don’t want to take too long editing (one article was about takingOops! Looks like your Ask got cut-off, but I think I get the gist of it.
I really feel that four edits/drafts are the minimum you can get away with, but five is usually my personal goal. If you absolutely have to go with the bare minimum, try this:
- have a critique partner or trusted friend read through it to get their opinion on plot, structure, character development, pace, flow, continuity, and description. Ask them not to worry about spelling, grammatical errors, or typos.
- read through it yourself as though you’re just a regular reader and look out for the same things.
- Write a second draft incorporating your desired changes and taking your critique partner/friend’s suggestions into consideration. Look for unnecessary scenes that can be cut, and “fat” that can be trimmed.
- have a critique partner or trusted friend who is good at spelling and grammar read through it to look for spelling errors, grammatical errors, and typos.
- read through the draft yourself to look for the same things, then write a third draft incorporating the necessary corrections
- print it out and go through it line-by-line, word-by-word, to make sure there are no errors. You may *not* rely on spell-check for this. Have a good dictionary and style handbook nearby so you can quickly look up anything you have a question about. Use a red pen to mark necessary corrections.
- read through it one more time, but this time read it out loud. Pay attention to the pacing, flow, dialogue, description, and just how it sounds. If you have trouble with anything, it’s likely your reader will, too. Make notes of necessary changes as you go. Then, write your fourth draft, which will be your final draft and the one you can send to a publisher.