If you are reading this I know you are smart. So I will not keep telling you the same thing over and over. Because I know you are smart. So, often when we write we think our reader aren’t going to get what we’re saying or forget what we wrote. But I know you guys are smart. I don’t need to tell you the same thing over and over. Right?
After I completed Hidden Temptation and did my first editing. I found a lot of redundancy. I would think. “Will the reader remember that little thing about Odette or that detail about her environment?” If I wrote it clear enough more than likely you will. If it’s important to move the story forward you will remember. But guarantee if I wrote it again, and again you will scratch your head and say didn’t she write that already? Or maybe you might think it’s something important and it’s really not. If you wrote something in chapter one and it comes up again in chapter ten maybe a refresher is needed but I would do it with a little re-wording. But if you’re in the same chapter I think you should try to avoid the repeating. I know when I read the same thing over and over I get annoyed especially if it’s not a vital piece of information. That slows my reading down and makes me wonder why the writer keeps repeating that piece of information.
During my first edit of Hidden Temptation, I checked for spelling and grammar errors. I actually check for those each time I edit. I always miss something, but that’s normal for me. Anyone who’s been following Silently Heard Once knows I make all kinds of careless typos. I do read over my work maybe I need to wear my glasses. I think I’ve gotten better after writing Hidden Temptation .
Consistency is the next thing I checked for. I make sure if one character had blue eyes in chapter two he still had blue eyes in chapter fifteen unless he wore contact lens. What I did to help me keep up with each character was to create a profile. I put their name, age, physical features, who they’re related to and any other information that I might need to refer to later.
I did this after I finished Hidden Temptation while I was editing to make it easier. But with my sequel, Revealing Temptation, I am completing profiles as I go along. I think this will make writing process of Revealing Temptation easier. I did a lot of back and forth with Hidden Temptation. I became pretty adept with the “find” feature in Word. Using this profile sheet enabled me to know things about my characters that my readers don’t know and may never know. I’m sure there are things you don’t know about your best friend that you’ve known for years.
Even though I looked for typos, grammar errors, redundancy, and consistency during my first read through, I do it over and over when I edit. I am currently editing for the seventh time. I’ve had a few people read my drafts and they will point things out and I would go back and edit some more. I start at page one and go all the way to page two hundred and seventy-eight. Do I get annoyed? Hell yes I get annoyed but I know Hidden Temptation is getting better because each time I edit I find less and fewer errors and I read through it much faster.
Remember you work is yours, you put a lot of time into completing it. Nobody, unless you can pay to have it professionally edited is going to help you fix everything that is wrong with your beloved hard work. Yes they may point out inconsistencies here and there and a few redundant parts. But they aren’t going to highlight and point out where the errors are. You will have to do that yourself if you don’t have someone helping you who is as invested as you are.
As much as I have begun to hate, I mean hate editing I will do it until I am satisfied with my end product. I want my readers to enjoy my story and not have to go back and try to figure out what I was trying to write. My readers deserve the best. In the end, I hope that all my efforts will prevail in the finished product. I dream of being on the New York Times Best Seller list.
So edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit!!!!!!!!
This is what my Character Chart looks like. I can write notes on the bottom and the back pages. I write in pencil so I can erase.
Visit next Tuesday I’m going to tell you about how I introduced my characters.
Disclaimer: I completed Hidden Temptation, my first completed novel and this blog is a humble attempt to create interest in its debut. I am not a professional and this is no way an educational guide. I am merely sharing my writing experience, what I picked up reading other novels, and what I learned in the process of completing Hidden Temptation.
I hope my experience helps fellow writers create a higher quality of art. I do not presume that Hidden Temptation is perfect or of professional quality but I do believe it is close. Your opinions, thoughts, and feedback are most welcome. Please feel free to create an open thread and share thoughts, and opinions so that we can help each other grow as a community of writers.