Editing your own work is the pits, not allowing this incredible story to pick you up and run with you when you’re supposed to be on the lookout for all the glaring mistakes. Because there are glaring errors. They may be invisible to you but they will be obvious to whoever next reads the ms. Since working with The Wild Rose Press I’ve discovered, for example, that I invariably hit the space key before beginning a new line. Why? Who knows? I just know what a mind-numbing chore it is to correct 300 odd pages.
Anyway, you’ve completed your story. You’ve typed ‘The End’ and sat back with a well deserved sense of pride. Warning: You’re probably just a little over halfway to submission. There is still much to do before your work is polished enough to submit. Put your story away for a few weeks, then I suggest you read your draft beginning to end to ensure it’s the story you meant it to be. Have you compromised for the sake of time, effort or lack of research? Are your characters still true to your vision? Will your plot capture and involve the reader from beginning to end? Only when you are confident this story is as you imagined it would be, should you start tightening your work. Be happy with your yarn as a whole before playing with the structure of your writing. Love your story and believe in its ability to capture the reader and transport her to whatever world you’ve developed.
Next week I’ll run through the list of superfluous words I always manage to sprinkle through my draft. Perhaps there’ll be some there you haven’t thought of.