Thats where the edit comes in.
This process is going to look a little bit different for everyone. Some people may like to do the copy editing first, or be their own alpha reader. But I thought I would share the process that works for me.
How do you find your reviewers? Comment below!
This means there may be a lot of content that never actually makes it into the book, but there will also be little details that get added in that make them more real, and more memorable. When I’m done with this, I stop and send the manuscript off to my Alpha readers with the request that they give me notes on what they like, don’t like, pacing, plot problems, etc.
Level Two - After getting the notes from my Alphas, I set about making the suggested changes that I find beneficial (see tip number three in my previous post on Surviving a Critique). At this point there are probably some changes happening to the plot, so while I’m at it I make sure each of my b-list characters have their own character arc. Everyone is the main character of their own life, so I want my b-list characters to have their own lives beyond of the view of my protaganist. After I’ve done this level of rewriting and tweaking, I’m ready for beta readers. Some of these will be people who are also my Alphas, its nice to get their notes on what has changed that they like or don’t like. Some of them will be the new readers taking a look at my manuscript with fresh eyes.
Level Three - At this point things should be looking pretty good. The book has been through two rounds of edits and I’ve fleshed out most of what needs to be expanded on. I’ll go over the notes from my betas and make changes and additions.
The next step depends on the author. If you feel your manuscript needs more work, or you’ve added lots of extra stuff between reviews, then you might want to do another round or two of feedback. I tend to do three or four rounds of this personally. If your comfortable with where you’re at and you’re not getting a lot of notes, then it may be time to move on to the next step.
"Everyone is the main character of their own life."
Level Five - Polishing. Nothing major should be happening to your novel anymore. Try to resist the urge to move that comma again, unless your copyeditor assures you its needed, that is.
Level Six - Publish. Ebook, POD, trade publishing, whatever your plan is, do it. Don’t second guess. Don’t worry. You’ve done the work, now it’s time to reap the rewards. Do it.
What does your editing process look like? How many rounds of feedback do you do? Are you a comma mover? I’d love to hear from you, comment below and let me know.