Weekends-At-A-Glance Calendar – With Suggested Edits for Busy Writers

So here it is, folks. A look at available weekends in 2017.

There are exactly eight weekends in the 60-Day Edit during May and June. Eight weekends to revise, edit, and polish that manuscript until it is whipped into shape.

IMAGE: Calendar 2017 in vertical design.

Incredibly busy? Become incredibly organized.

If you’re a busy writer with a “day job,” a family, and a whole slew of commitments, weekends may be your only shot at getting a solid revision done on your manuscript. If this is the case, in order to keep on schedule, you might consider mapping out which editing tasks you intend to do during each weekend in May and June.

I #amediting every weekend in May and June on the 85K Writing Challenge. Wish me luck! Click To Tweet

Here’s some suggestions.

1. Divide the weekends into specific editing tasks such as pruning lengthy descriptions and subplots, searching for redundant or overused words, or reordering your chapters.

2. Divide the weekends into specific chapter goals, determining which chapters will be fully edited and when.

3. Divide the weekends so that your developmental edit is completed in May, making room for a manuscript edit (line editing / copy editing) in June.

4. You might divide the weekends by some other metric, or a combination of the above.

Super busy? Divide the editing into separate tasks and then schedule when each task will get done. Click To Tweet

Need to review of the major stages of editing? Read last week’s 60-Day Edit post: Stages of Editing Explained.

TIP: Also map out specific times of the day to work.

For example, I intend to edit on Friday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Saturday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, and Sunday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 pm with a quick break for supper.

Determining this time-specific schedule, and then sticking to it, lets me rest easy, knowing I’ll complete nine hours of editing every weekend for eight weeks.

That’s 72 hours of editing mapped and ready for my productivity during the 60-Day Edit.

Whatever you decide, make a plan, and then stick to it.

Good luck!

Let us know how you’re spending your weekends by joining us in the Edit Forum! (Click here to enter.)

Have a plan for editing your novel? Suggested weekend edits for busy writers - in this #85K90 post: Click To Tweet

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

Time management is essential when editing a novel. What's your plan? How do you get things done?… Click To Tweet

Sample Schedule

MAY – Comprehensive Developmental Editing

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 1 – Laying the Map for the Developmental Edit

Friday, May 5 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): Print hardcopy of rough draft; put into notebook; begin reading, taking notes in the margins and on a separate pad of paper outlining which editing tasks need to be completed – in which order and at which location in the manuscript.

Saturday, May 6 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): Continue the above task.

Sunday, May 7 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Complete the above task.

NOTES
After nine hours of editing during Weekend 1 – I have a solid plan of what needs to be accomplished. Using the list I’ve created, I subdivide the developmental editing, scheduling it out over the next three weekends.

Let’s pretend my main “issues” or tasks to complete during the developmental edit are: a reordering of story events or chapters (we’ll call this “Major Issue #1”); building tension between the antagonist and the protagonist (we’ll call this “Major Issue #2”); and rewriting the final 25% of the novel (we’ll call this “Major Issue #3”).

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 2 – Developmental Edit Major Issue #1

Friday, May 12 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): If I need to change the order of story events or chapters, I make a map of the complete story, being careful to note the “logic” of the story and the sequence of events.

Saturday, May 13 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): Begin reordering the story events or chapters.

Sunday, May 14 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Start a read-through of the newly ordered story events or chapters, making careful notes about logic and sequence, so that my “cause and effect” reads cleanly throughout the manuscript. Post-It Notes work nicely as placeholders in the text indicating any new changes that need to be made in the manuscript to reconcile issues of logic and sequencing that arose after reordering the story events or chapters. Many of these changes can be made during the manuscript edit – scheduled for June.

NOTES
After nine hours of editing during Weekend 2 – this task took a little longer than I had hoped, so I spent a few hours Monday night finishing up. Also, while completing this task, I noticed inconsistencies in the type of transportation my characters used, the physical description of the second female character in the Vegas fight scene didn’t work, and the breeds of the dogs at the horse track were inconsistent. I didn’t change these just yet – but I did make a note of them on my list of things to do during the manuscript edit in June. (P.S. I’m just making these scenarious up – I don’t really have a Vegas fight scene in my novel. Although, it does sound kinda cool.)

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 3 – Developmental Edit Major Issue #2

Friday, May 19 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): If I need to build the tension between the antagonist and the protagonist, a quick read-through with a highlighter pen will help pinpoint places in the novel where the antagonist and protagonist “face off” with one another. Also helpful, making note of opportunities to build tension through their backstory or actions taken when not face-to-face.

Saturday, May 20 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): Begin tackling the highlighted areas of the manuscript one by one, until all opportunities for building tension between the antagonist and protagonist are addressed.

Sunday, May 21 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Continue with the above task until the tension building is complete.

NOTES
After nine hours of completing the second major issue in the developmental edit during Weekend 3, I’m ready to tackle the third and final major issue of the developmental edit: rewriting the final 25% of the novel.

Knowing this may take more than the nine hours allocated during the weekend, I’ve scheduled additional time during the week so that this task will be complete by Sunday evening.

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 4 – Developmental Edit Major Issue #3

Added time – Wednesday, May 24 (7:00 to 11:00 pm): Begin rewriting the final 25% of the novel. Knowing that 25% of the novel represents about 90 total pages of my 360-page novel, I budgeted the rewriting of the 90 pages so that it is scheduled out across my work sessions. During this first editing session, which took four hours, I got through 30 pages of the rewrite.

Added time –
Thursday, May 25 (5:00 to 6:30 am): 10 pages rewritten (40 thus far)

NOTES
This is taking longer than I thought so I’ve decided to start writing IOUs to myself for things I’ll address during June’s manuscript edit. I got waaaaay too bogged down in the airport scene – much of what was slowing my pace was tedious line editing that can be done in June.

Friday, May 26 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): 10 pages rewritten (5o thus far)

Saturday, May 27 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): 25 pages rewritten (75 thus far)

Sunday, May 28 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): 15 pages rewritten (90 total)

Yay! May’s developmental editing is complete. Time to move into manuscript editing.

JUNE – Comprehensive Manuscript Editing (line editing / copy editing)

In June, the manuscript editing begins, so I’ve decided to begin the month by budgeting the line edits into chapters completed, leaving the final two weekends for a start-to-finish final read-through.

I have 36 chapters in my novel.

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 5 – Manuscript Editing: First 50% of novel

With eighteen chapters to line edit and only nine hours over the weekend to do so, I have to move quickly, knowing I still have the final two weekends in June to read through the entire manuscript again.

To do this during the nine hours per weekend I’ve scheduled, I will need to edit at a pace of one chapter every half hour. Very difficult. So I will use every tool available to me including track changes, word frequency counters, spelling and grammar software, and the like. My Pomodoro timer is my best friend.

Friday, June 2 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): During these two hours, I move quickly through the first 50% of the manuscript using available electronic tools and software (Grammarly, word frequency counters, etc). If needed, I’ll add more time by staying up later to complete this task.

Saturday, June 3 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): With the electronic tools (spell checks, grammar checks, etc.) completed last night, I have three hours today to edit at a pace of two chapters per hour (nearly impossible but I still have the final two weekends of the month for a second line edit of the manuscript). Therefore, I need to edit six chapters in three hours. Better find a quiet place to work and bring lots of coffee.

Sunday, June 4 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Four hours to edit. Trying to eight chapters.

NOTES
Dang. Only got through 14 of the 18 chapters I wanted to complete. Will need to schedule additional time during the week. My plan is to spend two hours of editing on Tuesday night to stay on schedule and to use lunchtime at work during the week to press forward until all 18 chapters (the first 50% of my novel) are complete.

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 6 – Manuscript Editing: Second 50% of novel

Friday, June 9 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): During these two hours, I move quickly through the second 50% of the manuscript using available electronic tools and software (Grammarly, word frequency counters, etc). If needed, add time by staying up later to complete this task.

Saturday, June 10 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): Like last weekend, I have only three hours to edit today, so I need to complete six chapters if I can.

NOTES
Great news! Husband took the kids out for pizza and a movie so I could work. Stretched Saturday’s editing session out an additional four hours!!! Completed an additional five chapters.

Sunday, June 11 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Four hours to edit the remaining chapters.

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 7 – Second Round of Manuscript Edits – First 50% of Novel

Friday, June 16 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): Conducting my second line edit of the first 50% of the novel (18 total chapters to line edit for the second time).

Saturday, June 17 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): Continue the above task.

Sunday, June 18 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Continue the above task until complete.

IMAGE: Time managment key on the computer keyboard.

WEEKEND 8 – Second Round of Manuscript Edits – Second 50% of Novel

Friday, June 23 (7:30 to 9:30 pm): Conducting my second line edit of the second 50% of the novel (18 total chapters to line edit for the second time).

Saturday, June 24 (1:00 to 4:00 pm): Continue the above task.

Sunday, June 25 (4:00 to 8:00 pm): Continue the above task until complete.

DONE!

And it’s not June 30 yet so the 60-Day Edit isn’t over – I still have five days to fine-tune and polish.

Yay me!

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Julie Valerie

Julie Valerie

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from first word to first reader.

One thought on “Weekends-At-A-Glance Calendar – With Suggested Edits for Busy Writers

  1. I love the way this post advocates making a detailed plan, and the reminder of how time slips through our fingers otherwise. It’s so tempting to think of a “long” summer stretching ahead without calculating how many weekends that actually means. I’m not in editing mode right now but this was a great prompt for me to identify some chunks of writing time before the days begin to get shorter again!

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