That’s my tip: write. You might be thinking, Stacey, (crazy lady) how is WRITE! an editing tip?
Here’s the thing. If you don’t write, you won’t have anything to edit. I can’t help you if you don’t have a finished piece. I’m a little over half way through my current WIP and you know what I want to do? Fix it. But I keep telling myself I can’t fix what isn’t there. Keep moving forward. When I get to the end, I can go back.
I love to edit. It’s my favorite part of the process. I’m already planning how I’m going to handle the second draft. Here’s what I have planned: I’m going to pull out my 4×5 index cards. (I’m hoping I need extra and I can go to Staples to buy more. I love supplies. Buying school supplies for my kids is one of my favorite things to do. Don’t you just love a brand new notebook?) I’m going to put a brief outline of each chapter on the cards then bind them together with a binder ring. I can flip through them and see what’s happening in each chapter, what’s missing, what needs to be taken away.
I also like to color code. I’ll probably color code each plot layer so I can see how I’m pulling it through the book or not. The colors will also let me focus on a specific plot layer then go back for the others. Colors are fun. How can I deprive myself the chance to play with color?
But I can’t do any editing and neither can you, until the first draft is done. So, how do you finish? Show up at your computer every day. Set daily word count goals or time in the seat goals. Turn off the internet. Put words on the page even if the words make you cringe and you think you haven’t learned a thing about writing since kindergarten. WRITE! You can fix it later. Or I can help you fix it if you’re overwhelmed or don’t know what to do.
Do you like to write with music? Turn it on then sit down and write. Maybe you have a candle you like to light first. Do it. Your brain will recognize the routines and know it’s time to get to work. The only way to finish is to show up. Writing a novel is a marathon. You have to train and the only way to do that is to WRITE!
Write every day. There are plenty of times I don’t make my writing goals. I try not to beat myself up about it. There’s always tomorrow and I have two teenagers that need to be places all day long, a dog that needs to be places too, and a house that needs to be cleaned. (Other authors will say they ignore their house, but unfortunately I’m nuts and I can’t do that. Don’t follow me. Be like them. WRITE!)
Before you know it, that first draft will be done and then the fun begins. EDIT!
What are your writing goals for today?
How can I help you make your novel even better?