From draft to published: Editing – the fun begins!

If you ask anyone who has written a book, they will tell you it isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s hard work, long hours alone hunched over a keyboard, pouring yourself into every word and phrase. So when you do finish that novel, and type The End, it’s celebration time, right?

Of course! But if you actually want other people to buy it and read it, you are only at the beginning of the adventure. Finishing your novel is a fantastic, life changing, and personally fulfilling experience, but it takes more than passion to get your novel out there. Especially if you are choosing to self publish.

When I finished my first novel, and realized it was going to take much more than just typing The End to make it to the bookshelves, I was quite depressed. I was emotionally exhausted, and overwhelmed about what to do next. So, like with every other obstacle I encounter in my life, I researched what to do. I read books and listened to podcasts on editing, marketing, self-publishing, traditional publishing, basically any subject that had to do with writing novels. I especially loved reading novels on writing by authors I admire.

So, after all my research, I decided on three different types of editors for my first novel: a content editor, a line editor, and a copy editor to get it print-perfect.

I’m so excited (and nervous!) because I have sent my novel to Larry Brooks for this first content editing. I have read his books, Story Engineering and Story Physics, and attended one of his full-day workshops. I admire his crystal clear understanding of what a story needs. In almost all of the books on editing I’ve read, I’ve noticed they all basically give the same advice on how to outline and craft your stories, the same advice Mr. Brooks summarizes expertly in his 6 core competencies. I don’t completely comprehend everything he teaches in his books yet, but I’m learning.

As I continue to grow as an author, I hope I will learn to feel more comfortable with this editing process. But this week, with this first big step, I am anxiously waiting for my inbox to tell me I have mail.

Happy Editing!

Heather Dyer


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