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The Arduous Edit – Rounding Third Base

Editing a hardcopy manuscript!
Editing a hardcopy manuscript!


The Arduous Edit is nearly complete. I just finished stage VI edits this morning, which I had intended to be the final read through. Technically, that's still true. However, I’ve decided I’m going to listen to every chapter one last time before calling the Arduous Edit complete (although as everyone knows the editing process never really ends).

Here are my observations from this editing phase:

  • This time around, I noticed the middle chapters needing the most polishing (opposed to the final half dozen or so chapters).

  • I found myself about equally rewriting and cutting. I think in previous editorial phases, the work was weighted one way or the other.

  • My average chapter length has dropped precipitously by about 300 words to roughly 2,400 words per chapter. This will put the novel in the range of 109,000 to 110,000 words.

What’s next? Well, I will follow Matt Bird’s advice and set aside the manuscript briefly before doing a final listen through. I have a three things to work on in the meantime. I have a short story knockout, a synopsis to write, and a query letter to craft. I’m not sure what order I'll do those in…

As I’ve mentioned before, don’t fear editing. It’s not as nearly as arduous as you think!

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