Just because someone can tell a great story doesn't mean they can edit one. It takes a lot! I'm still reteaching myself things I've forgotten since high school and I will admit that I'm definitely no Shakespeare! That being said, I'll share with you a few quick editing tips.
1-- Edit over and over. Go through your manuscript once on your computer (once the first draft is done), then do it again. Only print it off the second time. You'd be amazed at the things you pick up on with a paper copy that you miss on a computer.
2--A fellow writer recently gave me the best advice anyone's ever given me about edits. READ it out loud to yourself. I don' t know why I never tried this. It may feel silly to sit and read your work out loud to yourself, but it really does help. Reading in your head doesn't count for this.
3-- It really does help if you have an ink pen that you're comfortable with. We all have our preferences...I like to use a plain, regular, ordinary red Bic.
4-- Question everything. EVERYTHING.
5-- Keep a dictionary/thesaurus handy. When you see a word repeat too many times in a small space, use a synonym.
6-- The word "that"... If you can eliminate this particular word as much as possible, your work will read much better.
7-- Avoid head hopping. I'm bad for this when I'm sleepy. I'm writing in the POV of one character one minute and the next I'm somebody else...lol.
Welp, that's all for the editing part of what I've been up to. Now on to the real news!
Willow Lake was finished several weeks ago, but I'm not in such a hurry to push this one out. Edits will take longer with this book because, frankly, it's a longer book than The Demon King. It's three times as long, I think. The printed copy won't fit in a folder! Also, Willow Lake is my first attempt at magical realism and I just want to make sure that everything is perfect. Once my edits are all finished and I've revised a few things and entered all my changes into the computer, I'll post an actual blurb (maybe even a quick excerpt in here).
I will say now, though, that Willow Lake is a great story. Not just because I wrote it, but because it just is. The characters are all people I feel could be real to me. The main characters, Celia and Gray, make a great team. This is the first ghost story I've written, but I really don't see it being my last. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed writing this particular book.
Since I really haven't been up to much else, I'm going to just leave it at that. If you're editing like I am, good luck!