Novel editing guidelines, learning from critiques

Novel writing is an art that requires you to be creative. Creativity and imagination drive the process of novel writing. Every fantasy writer chooses a specific domain or genre before starting writing a novel. The sketch for the entire piece is carved right before the start. A draft helps keep on track and makes it easier to manage the whole story. Every author knows how to excel but input from a book coach or an editor is still a great thing to do. Editing is required even for the best authors.

Novel editing is done once an author starts thinking about publishing and selling. Editing a novel begins once the story is complete but has not yet been published. It is a healthy process as it not only helps manage the story but also helps learn the art of writing. Novel editors can see the creative side of the content. They can see how a writer has carved the sentences, dialogues, and story. You can sharpen your writing skills by simply editing a novel for another writer.

Here are a few guidelines that can prove productive in the process of novel editing.

1. Overwrite now, whittle down later

Writing a fantasy story is a messier process and every smart writer understands it. But there are a few writers that believe that the first draft needs to appear like a publishable script. Actually, it can never appear publishable right after you have given the finishing touches to your story. It is the job of an editor to make it look ready to publish. A whole lot of errors and flaws will require editing and correction.

We have a wonderful idea to back you up in the writing process. Try overwriting the sentences and phrases that you feel will require editing. You can edit the content later or an editor will whittle it down during the editing process. Overwriting will minimize the need for writing sentences over and again after editing.

2. Focus on essential points of view

A number of writers tend to dart away from the normal while writing their stories. A plot is muddied by a few irrelevant or less essential characters. It happens when an author tends to go away from the essential character or gets attached to an inessential character. A pointless association with a character disturbs the focus and hence the lure. A story cannot lure a reader if it fails to keep the focus on the essential points of view. Although it is not the job of an editor to fix the focus but still one can edit things to make a story look more focused. The level of engagement simply gets enhances when the story is neatly written and the characters are properly woven.

3. Look for character inconsistencies

A writer always knew its plot and the associated characters. But as the story proceeds the characters tend to behave a little erratically, why? Just because the writer tends to focus on other related things and forgets to carry the spice around a specific character. It usually happens when a story proceeds. The developmental editing, therefore, tends to focus on the inconsistencies available in the story. One can analyze character arcs using developmental editing techniques. It will help you make all the adjustments in the novel. You would not see a battle-ax character turning into a chef as the story proceeds.

4. Create a checklist for every character of your story

Remember, every plot works with the characters. You cannot have a great story and inconsistent characters at the same time. It requires a great bit of focus to keep the spice balanced throughout the story. It is quite a demanding task especially when you are writing part-time. Therefore, creating a checklist for all the characters is such a nice option to try if you are writing a fantasy novel. Creating a checklist for every character ensures consistency for each character of your story. You can remain focused and consistent while having a checklist for each character.

5. Watch out for the narrative structure

Keeping the reader engaged is a key to success for a fantasy novel writer. But that cannot just be attained by overstating the case or by moving zigzag in your story. The narrative structure needs to remain balanced for your novel to keep readers interested. The narrative structure is a framework that provides a clear picture of the plot and the story. It describes what you want to tell your readers. Therefore it is vital to check for the narrative structure so that any inconsistency in the story must be removed before publishing the novel.

6. Be conscious of contrivance

You are likely to get a piece of free advice or articles telling how to edit your novel yourself when you search for editors or editing options. But is it wise to go for free editing when cheap editing options are available? Tell you what you cannot find the contrived plot lines throughout your novel especially when you have written it yourself. There is always a mindset behind everything added in a novel. This is why you should hire an editor and ask for professional editing services. Give your novel an option to be tried from a reader’s perspective. Only a professional editor will discover the contrived content present in your fantasy story.

7. Invite your reader’s imagination

Your whole fantasy story tells it all about your imagination and creativity. It tells one how you could carve a story out of scratch and how you could build a castle in the air out of sheer imagination. Now when you are done with your story, it’s time to invite your reader’s imagination. But that reader needs to be an experienced author or an editor. A simpleton will always end up saying you did your best. This is why it is so crucial to ask for professional reading. Every experienced editor will imagine your story from the reader’s perspective. The content will be viewed from a critical perspective and that’s where the real editing starts.

1 thought on “Novel editing guidelines, learning from critiques”

  1. Point 3.
    You’ve not worked with many chefs or heard of Gordon Ramsey then?
    That aside interesting article 🙂

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