Last time, I covered world building. If you missed it, you can check out the article here.
But now the draft is done, it's time to move on to editing.
Authors have many different ways of editing - and approaching all stages of their manuscripts. Here's some of the process that I go through in order to get my book as polished as possible. I love this part of the process. This is where your work beings to represent the final product.
Typically, I like to set it aside for a month or so. Due to time constraints, that's not going to happen this time. I'm jumping right in, which isn't a bad way to approach it either.
As this is book four in the series, my first task is to read over the other books. There will be plot points I will want to make sure I touch on, and character arcs that may have been lost. So I'll spend the first week doing that.
The second stage is going over the manuscript with a grammar and spell checker. There are a few different ones out there. Previously, I've used Grammarly, but more recently, I've been using Pro Writing Aid. If you would like more info on these, I did a blog post about them here (there's also a free app mentioned in the blog). Use any of these tools with discretion. I'm dyslexic, and like to have something that will check things for me without my brain mixing up the letters on the page. That doesn't mean the tools are infallible - but they are a great aide. This usually takes about a day.
After running it through the checks, I start from the start - going scene by scene. What works? What doesn't? And, for me - have I included enough description? Have I set the scene? Am I head-hopping? This can take anywhere from a fortnight to, well, however long you want.
Once that stage is complete, it's time to go through line-by-line. Making sure the words are in the right order, that nothing is wasted, and everything is in the right spot. This takes about a week.
Then it's off to the beta-readers and I get to sit back and...
Start on book 5.
Stay tuned for what comes next.