Congratulations on making it through the Write cycle of the 85K Writing Challenge! Be sure to celebrate your success in progressing this far. For many writers, completing a first draft is an enormous hurdle, so if you feel ready to move on and edit, that truly is a great accomplishment.
As you embark on this next phase, know that efficient editing is different from the initial technique of writing with abandon, and you might enjoy it more, or less, than toiling through your first draft.
During the 90-Day Write, we encouraged you to slap sentences down and focus on your blossoming word count, no matter how questionable the quality of your actual writing! Now, you have to take those same words, and finesse them. Arguably, this requires a different mindset, and deep within your brain, different neurons will fire for their moment of glory.
So, to support this new phase, be ready to look at the habits which have been productive up to now, and adjust them if necessary.
- The time of day which worked for you, during the 90-Day Write, may not be your ideal editing time. You may need to bring a different energy to this process.
- Take a fresh look at the place where you like to work. Perhaps, for editing, you’ll switch from a desk to a lawn chair, or your home to a coffee shop?
- Did you work on your first draft alone, or with others in a collaborative environment like a writing group? Did you take part in online sprints, perhaps? These tactics may not work so well for editing. You might find you need a different type of accountability for this stage.
Measuring your progress also gets harder during the 60-Day Edit. During the Write cycle, word count served as the easy, obvious metric. However you broke down your goal of 85,000 words, you could figure out if you were on track. Now, though, how do you know you’re making reasonable progress with your edits? There’s plenty of excellent advice on this site about the editing process, so take a look at that. Do consider splitting your editing time into big picture, developmental aspects, and more detailed line edits. Be sure not to spell check until your edits are nearing completion! And most writers would agree you should allow more time to fix the big issues of pace and plotting, than for tweaking your word choices and tidying sentences.
This is a new phase of your journey, so don’t be surprised if you need to find a few new habits or productivity tricks. These will serve you well as you embark upon your quest to make your manuscript shine.
– Pauline Wiles
Enjoy this podcast discussion between Pauline Wiles and Julie Valerie.
Links to previously recorded discussions mentioned in this podcast:
- March 2019 “Working Title on the 85K Writing Challenge” with J.P. Cane & Julie Valerie
- May/June 2018 “Editing Your Novel: A Video Discussion with Kris Spisak” (Part 1)
- May/June 2018 “Editing Your Novel: A Video Discussion with Kris Spisak” (Part 2)
- May/June 2018 “Editing Your Novel: A Video Discussion with Kris Spisak” (Part 3)
PODCAST SUBSCRIPTION & DISTRIBUTION
At the moment, we’re hosting these podcasts on this website only. Therefore, your best listening option is to listen using your computer. Perhaps in the future, we will distribute on iTunes, Google Play and the like, but not at this time. We’re still learning the podcasting ropes and getting our feet wet. Hope you understand. Of course, this means there isn’t a “subscribe” mechanism in place for any of the podcasts. But maybe someday. Thank you.
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About Pauline Wiles
Pauline Wiles is the author of three light-hearted novels as well as Indie With Ease, which helps self-published authors conquer stress. She believes pragmatic self-care is the foundation of a long and happy writing career. Her own version of this includes plentiful tea, cake, and running. Get more tips on purposeful productivity for writers and a free mini course, Focus for Writers, at paulinewiles.com/writers.
About Julie Valerie
Founder of the 85K Writing Challenge, Julie Valerie writes humorous women’s fiction and is developing a series set in the Village of Primm. Her first novel, HOLLY BANKS FULL OF ANGST, was sold to Lake Union, a commercial women’s fiction imprint of Amazon publishing as part of a 2-book deal and will be published in early Fall 2019. Visit Julie Valerie’s author website at julievalerie.com. Never miss an update by subscribing to Julie’s once-monthly author newsletter. Twitter @Julie_Valerie. Facebook Author Page fb.com/JulieValerieAuthor/. Instagram @julievalerieauthor. Pinterest @julie_valerie.