Seriously take a moment to pat yourself on the back; not many people who start on the writing journey actually see it all the way to the end, so in doing so you have joined an exclusive club and should celebrate your hard work and sheer bloody
However, just because you have written it all, it doesn’t mean it is any good! The joy of writing is that writers evolve and improve the more they write; so the type of writer you were at the start penning the first words is most probably
not the same as the one who has just written the final line. I know this from first-hand experience; it took me over 3 years to write Salvation, and when I went back to review the first few chapters I had written I was appalled by my
grammar, choice of words and style, it had changed so much!
But fear not, for this is where the joy of editing comes in. Firstly I will answer a question I am asked quite often; when should I edit?
Should I edit as I go i.e. write a chapter then review it completely, or write it all then review the total manuscript? The simple answer is there is no right or wrong; what works for someone else may not work for you, so don’t feel
pressured into how it should be tackled. Personally, I believe it comes down to your writing flow.
If, like me, you have hundreds of ideas swirling round your brain then get them down on paper now, just write whilst it’s fresh. When you come to edit you can perfect and polish away but you will have not forsaken or risked damaging the flow of ideas.
The second point is not to underestimate the scale and sheer enormity of editing, another area I am guilty of!
If writing is like climbing a mountain, that is sheer and scales into the clouds, then it is only when you reach the summit that its big brother editing becomes visible, and the true hike begins! Editing is not just about checking for typo’s and grammar, but assessing each element of a characters persona throughout the novel; their mannerisms, tone of speech, choice of vocabulary; it is immense. Depending on your reasons, there are some good professional editors and proof-readers out there, who I am more than happy to recommend. However if like me you are an indie writer, then you will want to restrict your overheads at the outset. So unfortunately this task comes back to you, and you need to dedicate time to re-reading (and in most cases re-writing) your whole novel. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, that the date you hoped to publish is nowhere in sight, but editing is the definition of a necessary
evil! Once your novel is released it is there for the World to review, so take your time and make sure when you do
release it, that it does you justice.
Finally, what I have found useful, is when you have written the novel and prior to your own self editing, send the rough
1stdraft to some ‘beta readers’, for them to assess the script and plot. This will quickly bring up anything you may have overlooked before you get too far down the line, and hopefully bring you some much needed positive feedback from 3rd parties!
So in summary, embrace editing, because it needs to be done and
it is there to make sure you are the best writer you can