Editing Tips For First Drafts

Hello fellow writers, re-writers and readers

Just a quick note to let you know I’ve finished my first draft of the manuscript

IN The Woods“In The Woods”

I’m very excited about the story line, it’s different from my last books and I really like the protagonist, Samantha Tremblay. She’s a Vermont Forest Ranger who’s involved with solving a murder after she stumbles across the first dead body in the woods. Samantha has her own quest as well, finding her Native American roots. I hope to represent that group of people as best I can. We all want to know who we are, where we come from, but for Native Americans, it’s often a difficult path.

I still have to edit some more, but I think a break is needed just to forget about the work for a week, so then I can begin again with fresh eyes. This is an editing practice—to step away and let the brain rest, and it works!

My Process to write the first draft:

  • I write the draft using Scrivener to help me make a cohesive story line using the tools available, which includes tracking my word count, a great motivator.
  • Then I compile it into a Word docx file and use the editor in Word.
  • Next, I use the Grammarly editing software loaded into my Word software (it turns the Word editor off but gives many more insights, like overused words).
  • Last step, I take each chapter separately and paste it in the Hemingway App software for desktop and review and make changes as appropriate to make the manuscript easier to read.

When my first draft is finished, I load it into Jutoh software and create a quick eBook (no worries about metadata etc. yet) and share it with Beta reader(s). Then I’m ready to let someone else read it while I rest. So, this week I’m on vacation.

A few other editing tips:

I’m taking a week off, even writers deserve a vacation.

But do we ever really take one?

Of course, I’ll be reading by the pool, but if you’re like me, that becomes part of the writing training. I can no longer read just for the sake of reading. I dissect the plot, check the clues, see if the characters are congruent. I do the same when I watch a movie or television show. It’s a good way to recognize others’ skill of their craft.

The story could be the most thrilling you’ve experienced or a complete bomb, but always a learning experience for you.

EZIndiebutton2Keep Reading – Keep Writing!

Here’s some photos I took of Brunswick Springs

5 thoughts on “Editing Tips For First Drafts

  1. It seems our editing processes are very similar. I use Scrivener, Grammarly, and The Hemingway App, but I also use Autocrit. Autocrit is AMAZING at picking up on passive voice, showing not telling, and repetitive words. There’s a lot more there than I use (mainly because I don’t quite understand it). It’s good but really expensive unless you get a deal. I used a free trial to start. Also, great job on finishing your draft 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so interesting. I don’t use any of these apps or programs for my editing. I guess I’m old fashioned in that way. If you had one app that gives you the best results, which one would it be?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to choose Paula because they each perform something different. I’ve been using Jutoh to format eBooks for years. But if I had to choose it would be Scrivener, though it formats eBooks I don’t use it for that. What I like best about Scrivener is how it helps organize the writing work with good tools. It helps me to stay on track. I begin with a very basic skeleton of a story, and as I write I add folders, add descriptions of scenes using the cork board tool, and measure my progress with the project tracker. It helps to use the character charts, especially for those who aren’t in every scene – keeps from mixing up simple things like mannerisms and eye color. Of course we do this instinctively in our head, but I’ve found that when I don’t have to rely on remembering the simpler things that I can delve into the motives more and the actions. The program helps me stay focused and has tools to step back and see the big picture and the smallest of details, as well. Try it you’ll love it. Works for plotters and pansters.

      Liked by 1 person

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