3 June 2017

Editing-10: Polishing the Novel

Pilgrims of the Pool is finished. Except it’s not.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of page reads this series of posts has gathered. Readers who have been with me from the first will realise I am now into dancing mode. It feels like it – two steps forward, one step back.

As part of the editing process, last week I needed to Write in a Circle. Well, the opening chapters have been re-structured, the flow eased, the echoes between characters and between time periods re-established on a slightly different footing, character motivations and fears ramped up and/or pulled back. Short stories, even novellas, may fall from brain to page in a single torrent, but novels need coaxing, marshalling into form, and drilling until the disparate elements are… dancing to the same beat. It can take time and numerous reruns.

However, there comes a point when the writing is not improved, merely made different. I am now at the stage of enough! It is time for an unemotional, mechanical, walk-through. I use Pro-Writing Aid – other software is available – which will highlight everything from passive verbs to convoluted sentence structure.  I don’t expect it to find much that I haven’t intended, in fact I’ll be miffed if it does, but it makes a good final check.

See you on the other side.

See also: 
Editing-1: What does editing actually mean?
Editing-2: The Structural Edit
Editing-3: The Content Edit
Editing-4: The Line Edit
Editing-5: Line Edit Update 
Editing-6: Beta Readers 
Editing-7: Metadata 
Editing-8: Beyond Beta Readers
Editing-9: Writing in a Circle
Editing-10: Polishing the Novel


  1. Good luck, Linda. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the same process. Intense, but worthwhile. And, so far, only a few errors found! Enjoy!

    1. And after being away a week - ah, the bliss - all those little items will now shriek at me. Oddly, I'm looking forward to it.

    2. The break will have refreshed you. Crack on, eh?