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  • Writer's pictureAnnabelle Steele

Editing... (Volume 1)

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

So last week I began my editing process, I've finished the first draft of Being Amani and I've received some feedback from my publishers. The feedback all seemed quite straight forward and I could understand why all of the suggestions had been made. So I put a plan in place of how I wanted to make each change and where I wanted it to fit in to the story.

When I wrote the first draft I had just written whatever came in to my head. In the writing world they call this is a 'pantser' - someone who just writes from the seat of their pants. When writing in this way I find it fun and exciting and I enjoy watching the story unfold as I write it. When redrafting / editing I have realised that this wasn't the best plan as I now have nowhere to turn when trying to make changes so I went back to basics and wrote an outline and included all of the suggestions and changes from my publishers. So now, I have a bit of plan to go off, making me a 'plantser' - someone who uses a plan / outline loosely. I don't think I will ever be a 'planner' as I like to let the characters and plot line grow as I write.

Before doing any editing, I then spent sometime reading some YA to get me in to my writing groove, I read "One of Us Lying" if you haven't read it please do (currently recommending it to everyone). Then I started a blog because I decided that I wanted to document the writing process so I knew what to do next time and I knew what worked and also I could direct people here when they asked how I managed to write a whole novel (which people seem to always ask). Then... I realised I was procrastinating....

So, I set aside some time to write and focus solely on the book, I talked through my changes with my husband, I'm not sure how interested he was but it helped me to verbalise what I was going to be writing. Then I set myself some targets such as to edit / write a chapter a day (two chapters a day if I could). I then decided I wanted some flashback scenes in my story to build up the backstory so I started to plan and write those out, so they were ready to slot in as mini chapters where necessary.

I then started to read what I had originally written and sent to my publisher so that I could begin my changes and... it was awful. I really, really, REALLY started to doubt myself, I spent a long time cringing and 'furrowing my brow' (apparently that's a phrase I write A LOT) then I emailed my publishers and told them how I was feeling. They reassured me that it was normal to feel the way I was feeling and they made me feel at ease and told me to call them if I need to talk through anything, they also reminded me that they all saw something in the story from that muddled first draft and they made me believe in Being Amani and my abilities again, so I sat down and finally... started the editing process.

I read this somewhere today and it couldn't be more true - '90% of writing a book is editing the story.'

Goal 65,000 words by 30th August

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